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Leisure centre in Kildare forced to close as it struggles to secure insurance

Spin Activity Centre said it was “extremely saddened and frustrated” that it was forced to close.
Aug 27th 2019, 10:17 PM 39,668 54

A LEISURE CENTRE and swimming pool in Kildare has been forced to shut down after failing to secure insurance cover, with the only possible option so far costing more than four times what it’d been paying up to date.

The Spin Activity Centre in Newbridge said on Saturday it would be closing the following day as it tries to find an insurance provider.

The centre features a 20-metre swimming pool, fitness and dance classes, and rollerskating.

“We are extremely saddened and frustrated by the current leisure insurance situation here in Ireland especially having spent the last three years building a business here within the Newbridge community and we are working hard to try and minimise the impact of the current situation,” Spin said in a statement.

It said that its previous insurance provider is no longer in the Irish market and despite not having a claim made against the centre over the past three years, it hadn’t been able to secure even a single quote to date. 

“We continue to try and source cover but the closest we have come so far is “a possibility of cover” at a price of approximately €100,000 per annum which is more than 4 times what we have been charged to date,” it said.

Spin said it would be “irresponsible and possibly even negligent” to continue operating without insurance in place.

It added that it would provide updates as it continues “last-ditch efforts” to secure a policy.

The Just Train Right swim school, which also operated from the same premises, said it was “with huge sadness” that the decision had been taken to no longer open the centre.

The issue of leisure centres facing difficulties securing cover has been highlighted a number of times in recent months, after provider Leisure Insure announced that it was withdrawing from the Irish market.

The decision caused shock in the leisure sector, which has struggled in recent years to afford insurance – especially in an Irish insurance industry that has typically been unenthusiastic about offering insurance to such companies.

The government said that its hands were tied with limited options to offer relief to such companies affected. 

“There is unfortunately no single policy or legislative initiative which the Government can take to persuade insurers to provide cover to the leisure sector as it would appear that insurers have not had a positive experience with this sector over the last number of years,” a spokesperson for the Department of Finance told TheJournal.ie

With reporting from Dominic McGrath

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