Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Health and Recreation Department

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Category based archive
14 Mar

Changes to facilities and services provided by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council


Centre Sat 17 March 2018 Mon 19 March 2018
OLC CLOSED 9am – 5pm
BLC 8am – 5pm 9am – 5pm
Waves 8:30am – 3:30pm CLOSED
CLC 9am – 4pm CLOSED
Cascades 10am – 4pm 9am – 5pm
14 Mar

Farrans to start preparatory work for new leisure facility ahead of 2020 official opening


Early-stage planning and initial enabling works necessary to create a new, multi-million sports and leisure facility in Craigavon are under way, paving the way for the construction of a new flagship health and wellbeing destination with facilities that will rival the best available anywhere in the world.


Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has confirmed that Farrans, one of the UK and Ireland’s largest and most successful building contractors, is preparing to move on site next month to begin initial early works for the new leisure development.


Working closely with the council, the company has already initiated a proactive campaign to inform local communities about the impending works.


After almost eight years since plans were formalised, the council said the highly-anticipated project, which has been future-proofed to meet the health and leisure needs for generations, remained on track to open in just over two years’ time.


Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Gareth Wilson, said:


“With planning secured and an agreed work schedule in place, the council’s vision to provide transformational leisure facilities which will be enjoyed by existing and future generations for decades to come is at last being realised.


“Recreation brings people together from all generations and I am certain that once completed, this landmark health and leisure facility will serve a growing community that will be encouraged to improve their health and wellbeing, to participate in an activity at whatever level they choose, and, above all, have fun.”


Based in Northern Ireland but with offices across the UK, Farrans is an award-winning market leader in project delivery and has a wealth of experience across a range of sectors, including leisure.


The company behind the award-winning £38 million Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Bangor, Farrans has also completed a major £15 million redevelopment of the existing leisure facility at Rushcliffe Civic Centre in Nottingham, breathing new life into the area last year. It is also poised to work on constructing One Bankmore Square in Belfast – a planned scheme for the largest single office building in Northern Ireland.


In addition to the staff that will run the new leisure facility, the project will create more than 500 jobs during the build. The construction phase alone is also expected to deliver an estimated £6.5 million in direct wages to the economy.


Brigid McGuigan, Farrans’ community engagement manager, said:


“We’re excited that this transformational, multimillion-pound development project will soon start to take shape and we look forward to further engaging our communities, updating them on new build plans and on progress throughout.

We encourage feedback and we will work hard to minimise the sometimes inevitable but temporary disruption that large-scale construction can cause. This is our commitment and it is our priority.”


Once complete, the new gym will be the largest available on the island of Ireland, featuring state-of-the-art equipment, spin and dance studios. It will also include an extensive health and beauty suite, activity rooms, squash courts and a large sports hall suitable for a variety of sporting activities, as well an extensive outdoor watersports provision.


Plans for the new leisure complex – first floated in 2010 – are part of a wider and ambitious regeneration programme across the ABC area. It will represent the largest capital project ever undertaken by the council since its formation in 2015 and will provide an enhanced facility designed to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of the whole borough.


The total project cost is estimated at around £35 million.


For more visit the South Lakes Leisure Centre section of our site.

13 Mar

At a recent visit to Richhill Recreation Centre, Lord Mayor, Cllr Alderman Gareth Wilson was delighted to launch the Council’s Easter Fun Clubs with pupils from Hardy Memorial Primary School in Richhill.

The Fun Clubs will be taking place at Tandragee Recreation Centre from Wed 28 to Fri 30 March, Wed 4 to Fri 6 April and Mon 9 to Wed 11 April and at Richhill Recreation Centre from Thur 29 March to Fri 30 March and Mon 9 April to Wed 11 April.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Alderman Gareth Wilson, encourages young people to come along to the fun clubs, he said: “It’s wonderful to see the energy of the children here this afternoon, the Fun Clubs are an opportunity for them to make new friends, try a new sport or develop a new skill this Easter in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere”.

The clubs are suitable for children and young people aged between 4 to 14 years old, they are supervised by qualified staff and will be packed full of fun with a programme of sports, games, arts and crafts and much more.

Early bird, half day and full day sessions are available at affordable prices. Parents interested in their child attending are advised to contact Tandragee Recreation Centre on 028 3884 1110 or email or Richhill Recreation Centre on 028 3887 0718 or email as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.


06 Mar

Free 6 Week Programme, every Tuesday and Thursday at Brownstown Jubilee Community Centre

From 10th April to 15th May @ 10:00am – 11:00am

On Your Feet which has been described as “Exercise in Disguise” is a fun filled programme for individuals that are still active and mobile but may find a traditional exercise class too much.

On Your Feet aims to help you:

  • Improve general fitness
  • Improve mobility
  • Improve strength and flexibility
  • Improve posture and alignment
  • Promote independence
  • Improve social life
  • Slow down age related illnesses and conditions

Places are limited so book your free place today by using the system below or contacting Stephen Black on:

Email: *protected email*

Tel: 028 3833 1964

Please wear flat footwear and comfortable trousers.

06 Mar

Free 6 week programme every Friday at Lurgan Park (Meet at the fountain)

From 13th April – 18th May @ 10:00am – 11:00am

Chi Me is a series of Tai Chi influenced exercises which includes exercises which may aid in falls prevention.

Chi Me can help improve the following:

  • Muscular strength
  • Balance
  • Co-ordination
  • Flexibility
  • and Relaxation

Places are limited so book your free place today by using the system below or contacting Leanne McShane

Email: *protected email*

Tel: 07766 470427

Please wear flat footwear and comfortable trousers.

01 Mar

Service Disruptions

# 3rd March Update #

Last updated 16:16 3rd March 2018

Due to damage caused by the recent cold weather, Orchard Leisure Centre will remain closed until further notice.
Orchard Leisure Centre will return to normal opening hours on Sunday 4th March. However the cafe remains closed due to water damage

See facility list below for opening status on Saturday 3rd March & Sunday 4th March

If cancelled all bookings will be rescheduled or refunds offered. Facilities will be in touch with customers on reopening.

This information is subject to any negative changes in weather or staffing resources please check back here before you travel for most up to date information

We will endeavour to keep customers updated on this page and social channels.

Other useful information on being prepared for and how to stay safe during the cold snap can be found here

For non leisure council services please visit the corporate Facebook page here

Facilities Open


Saturday 3rd March

The centre will open after car parks are cleared. Estimated time of opening 10:30am

At present customers are asked to use the back car park

Swimming Lessons from 11:00 will go ahead as normal

Sunday 4th March



Saturday 3rd March

Main pool 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Minor Pool 11:15 – 4:00pm

Gym 8:00am to 4:00pm

Spin Class 9:30am – 10:00am

Swimming Lessons as normal

Sunday 4th March



Saturday 3rd March & Sunday 4th March

Indoor facilities at the centre are open

Gymnastics Lessons have been moved to next week

Banbridge Leisure Centre

Saturday 3rd March & Sunday 4th March

Indoor facilities at the centre are Open

Swimming Lessons as normal

Craigavon Ski Slope

Saturday 3rd March & Sunday 4th March

Open to honor existing ski bookings customers will receive an email

Dromore Community Centre

Saturday 3rd March & Sunday 4th March

Indoor facilities at the centre are Open


Saturday 3rd March & Sunday 4th March

The gates of parks will be opened but paths will not be cleared


Saturday 3rd March

Closed due to ceiling and flooding damage.

Sunday 4th March

Normal opening however cafe will not be open due to water damage

Football Pitches

Saturday 3rd March & Sunday 4th March


Ardmore Recreation Centre

Saturday 3rd March & Sunday 4th March


Cathedral Road Recreation Centre

Saturday 3rd March

The Centre will be opened for upstairs bookings only on Saturday 3 March 2018.

Midnight Street Soccer Programme

Called Off

Gilford Community Centre

Saturday 3rd March & Sunday 4th March



Saturday 3rd March


Kinnego Marina

Saturday 3rd March


Sunday 4th March



Saturday 3rd March & Sunday 4th March



Saturday 3rd March & Sunday 4th March


Clare Glen

Saturday 3rd March & Sunday 4th March


Lough Neagh Discovery Centre

Saturday 3rd March


Sunday 4th March


Oxford Island

Saturday 3rd March


Sunday 4th March


Craigavon Golf Course

Saturday 3rd March & Sunday 4th March


Rathfriland Community Centre

Saturday 3rd March & Sunday 4th March


28 Feb

Building Active Communities’

The Public Health Agency (PHA) in partnership with Southern Area Local Government Councils (Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Mid Ulster District Council), Southern Health and Social Care Trust and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust is holding a conference ‘Building Active Communities’ on Wednesday 14th March 2018.

The purpose of the conference is to explore models of best practice in delivering effective physical activity interventions from across the UK and to influence key stakeholders involved in shaping local initiatives.

The conference will be of interest to Directors and Senior Managers from Health and Social Care organisations as well as local Government councils.


DATE:              Wednesday 14th March 2018

TIME:               9:00am – 4:15pm

VENUE:           Armagh City Hotel, 2 Friary Road, Armagh, BT60 4FR


Keynote Speakers

  • Professor Rob Copeland, Professor of Physical Activity and Health at The Centre for Sport & Exercise Science, Sheffield Hallam University. “Move More: A whole systems approach to increasing physical activity in Sheffield.”
  • Mike McDermott, Associate Director of Public Health and Kevin Hadfield, Manager Leisure, Libraries, Archives and Museums Services, East Riding of Yorkshire Council “A wonder to behold”: the sustainable partnership between Public Health and Leisure Services as a catalyst for wellbeing.”
  • Karen Creavin, Chief Executive, The Active Wellbeing Society: Birmingham City Council – The Birmingham Experience
  • Professor Marie Murphy, Professor of Exercise and Health, Ulster University. “Sit Less – Move More – the evidence base for increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour.”
  • Caroline Bloomfield, PHA Regional Obesity Lead – Active School Travel Programme – Engaging primary school children in physical activity

How to Register

To register your place/s at the conference use the button below. Please register no later than the 5th March 2018
13 Feb

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has teamed up with Macmillan Cancer Support and Southern Health and Social Care Trust to launch ‘Move More’ – an innovative project to help anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer in the local area to get active and remain active.

Macmillan Cancer Support funds the Move More initiative and works in partnership with local councils, physical activity providers and health and social care trusts all over Northern Ireland, to provide the support that people living with cancer need to improve their fitness.

Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Alderman Gareth Wilson is delighted that council plays such an important part in the Move More project, which offers such amazing support and encouragement for those with a cancer diagnosis.

“The Move More project is a wonderful initiative that offers help to those who have very sadly received a cancer diagnosis. We have a fantastic coordinator here in council who understands that it can be hard to know how to build up your fitness when going through treatment,” commented the Lord Mayor.

“The support ensures that each individual gets one-to-one help to find an activity they enjoy, that is right for them and fits in with their lifestyle. It helps to get people active again and keep active so they can enjoy an improved quality of life. Whether this means going to the gym, for a swim, joining a walking group, getting out and about with family and friends or getting more active at home – our coordinator is there for you.

“People will have the opportunity to try out a diverse range of activities, and access incentives including free taster sessions, discounted membership rates, and access for family and friends too, so please do get in touch and let us help you.”

Heather Monteverde, Head of Services for Macmillan in Northern Ireland said, “There are 63,000 people living with cancer in NI, and almost one in two of us will experience cancer at some point in our lifetime. Physical activity is safe during and after most types of cancer treatment and can help to reduce the side effects of this treatment, prevent the occurrence of other long-term conditions, and reduce the risk of cancer spreading or returning. We are delighted that Move More is now available to support people in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area.”

Move More isn’t just about the physical health benefits either. Wendy Abbot from Portadown became involved with the project after a breast cancer diagnosis. She says, ‘During treatment you can spend a lot on time on your own at home, cut off from the social networks you are used to. Move More gets you out and about, meeting people who’ve had a similar experience and it’s a real boost to your confidence.’

Speaking about Move More, Director of Acute Services for the Southern Trust Esther Gishkori said:

“There are around 2,332 cancers diagnosed each year in the Southern area but thanks to earlier diagnosis and advancing treatments, more people are living for longer with and beyond cancer. We are delighted to team up with Macmillan and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to refer our patients to the Move More programme.

“Physical activity is particularly important for cancer patients. It can help build strength to ensure they are fit enough for treatment, it can help reduce fatigue which can be brought on by chemotherapy and it can have a positive impact on overall physical and mental wellbeing, helping people to resume their normal daily activities more quickly and have a much better quality of life.”

Getting signed up to Move More is simple – you can be referred into the programme by any healthcare professional or you can self-refer by contacting the coordinator in your local area.

To find out more about Move More in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, contact Nuala McVeigh at *protected email* or 07711 756 836. Visit Macmillan NI on YouTube to view a short video about Move More.

For more information visit the Move More section of the site

20 Dec

Children and young people living in Armagh and wishing to learn to swim will have more opportunities to do so with the introduction of four new swimming programmes at the Orchard Leisure Centre implemented by the new Swimming Co-coordinator Emma Crawford.

The programmes will commence week beginning the 8 January 2018 and are suitable for children aged between 2 to 15 years old. They include Water Tots, Pre-school, Swim Camp and Teen Swim and will run for a 7 week period alongside the current children’s swimming programme.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Alderman Gareth Wilson commented, “It’s really important that every child has the opportunity to learn to swim, if they learn at a young age, this will be a lifelong skill and improve their overall health and wellbeing. I’m delighted the Orchard Leisure Centre has increased their programme offering for children in the borough.”

Water tots is a child and parent aqua based activity, aimed at children aged 2-4 years old.  It is aimed at developing both the parent’s and child’s confidence within the water. Through nursey rhymes and fun games all of the lessons will follow a relaxed structure focusing on making swimming a fun activity for all involved.

Pre-school lessons are suitable for children aged 4 ½ – 5 years old. It will be a stepping stone into lessons once the child turns 5 years of age, it is aimed at developing the child’s confidence whilst teaching the basic fundamentals of swimming.

Swim Camp is for children who have completed all levels of their learn to swim programme or children aged 8 years or over and able to swim 800 metres or more.  Topics covered will consist of dives, tumble turns, stamina and technique, lifesaving, water polo as well as front crawl back crawl, breast stroke and butterfly

Teen Swim is suitable for teenagers aged 11-15 years old who are unable to swim and feel too old to join at the beginning of our swimming programme. Classes will aim towards developing water confidence and develop/improve swimming abilities.

Enrolment for all of the new programmes is now opened, bookings must be made at reception of the Orchard Leisure Centre.

For further information, please contact the Orchard Leisure Centre on t: 028 3751 5920 or Emma Crawford, Swimming Co-ordinator by emailing


Pictured L to R at the launch of the New Swimming Programmes at the Orchard Leisure Centre is Lily Wilson, Finn McMahon, Emma Crawford, Swimming Co-ordinator, Jessie McCoy, Katie Oliver and Eoin Greene.

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