Visitor numbers at leisure centres in the Cannock Chase district are rocketing following a refurbishment programme.
Chase Leisure Centre recorded 102,978 visits in the first quarter of 2013-14 – up 30 per cent on the same period in 2011 when the site was last fully open.
In 2012-13, when the centre was being redeveloped complete with a new swimming pool, there were 39,895 visits.
Attendances at Rugeley Leisure Centre also increased for the first three months of the financial year, from 60,350 to 69,860. People took advantage of the improved gym facilities, with 24,406 visits for the quarter compared to 17,726 in 2012-13.
Cannock Park Golf Course was also boosted by the hot weather over the summer, with 6,938 people using the site compared with 4,894 in the same period in 2012.
A report to Cannock Chase Council by the Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust, which runs the sites, says: “The dry weather during June has resulted in an increase in participation at the golf course which has exceeded target and resulted in a 41 per cent increase when compared with the same period during 2012-13.” Cannock Museum suffered a drop in popularity, with the total number of visitors decreasing from 11,083 to 9,481.
However, bosses say an events programme and exhibitions will attract new people, while the permanent coal mining gallery has been updated.
Attendances at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Cannock dropped to 8,476 for the three-month period – down 4,679 on the same period the year before.
Theatre bosses say the drop in attendances has been caused by the Livingstone Dance School not staging any shows there this this year. The group usually has a week of events which draws in hundreds of people.