LEGAL action has been started against East Ayrshire Council EAC) following its decision to close Auchinleck Leisure Centre, a newly-formed community group has announced.

Auchinleck Leisure Community Committee (ALCC) was set up in the aftermath of EAC's decision to close the facility, announced back in October.

The centre was originally due to close completely by the end of November - but the council wrote to service users last week to announce that the  closure has been pushed back until after the new year and will now happen by the end of January.

ALCC confirmed to the Chronicle that they have started legal action against EAC, believed to be over the local authority's handling of their decision to close the centre.

READ MORE: Auchinleck residents voice their anger at plan to close the leisure centre

The group is pursuing a judicial review of the council's decision through Scotland's civil courts.

The closure of the centre is part of a wider plan to demolish the former Auchinleck Academy building, which could save EAC £400,000 a year in running costs, as well as the £6.5 million in capital investment it said would be needed to retain the facility.

Cumnock Chronicle: Rona Hunter, right, set up the meeting to reverse the decisionRona Hunter, right, set up the meeting to reverse the decision (Image: Charlie Gilmour)

In the meantime, ALCC welcomed the decision to extend the closure notice.

A spokesperson for the group said: “We welcome the news and would like to thank EAC for giving us an extension on the deadline.

"We are delighted that staff members will hopefully be reinstated in the coming days.

"ALCC are passionate about keeping leisure at the heart of our community and will continue to pursue all avenues we can to keep these vital facilities open in Auchinleck.

"We have spoken before about being an area of low income and employment as well as poor health; we really need this facility to remain open for all service users to benefit but particularly for children and those with disabilities.

"Auchinleck Leisure Centre is a welcoming, thriving centre which ALCC are incredibly proud of.”

Cumnock Chronicle: Members of the community attended a meeting to reverse the decision.Members of the community attended a meeting to reverse the decision. (Image: Charlie Gilmour.)

An East Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: "East Ayrshire Council received intimation of the Judicial Review petition on Friday 1 December and are currently considering its terms before determining the most appropriate course of action in response.

"It is expected that the council will be able to confirm the position over the next few days and will advise the user groups, the wider community and the media accordingly."