Attendance and membership numbers at KA Leisure venues has made a “remarkable recovery” from low pandemic levels.

With membership falling to under 5,500 due to Covid-19, a report for North Ayrshire Council’s [NAC] cabinet showed that roughly three years on numbers have increased by over 3,000 to reach over 8,700 – almost the same as pre-pandemic levels.

Additionally, swimming pool use rose by almost 60 per cent during the first three-quarters of the financial year when compared to the year before.

CEO (Interim) at KA Leisure, Malcolm McPhail, said: “Not only have we seen a remarkable recovery from the pandemic, but also the impact of our programmes on our communities is extraordinary.

“It is a testament to the organisation’s resilience, and I look forward to seeing our continued progress in the coming months.

“We are proud of the breadth of programmes we offer that are designed to improve the physical, mental and social wellbeing of our communities.”

The report displayed that the removal of pandemic restrictions had an impact on attendance levels.

Despite the increase in members and people using facilities, the organisation is also facing knock on financial effects from the pandemic as well as new issues rising from the cost-of-living crisis.

Their budget for 2022-2023 hopes to tackle these issues and the organisation say financial planning will be a focus.

KA Leisure, who are partnered with NAC, are working to develop a Community Health and Wellbeing Hub at Bridgegate in Irvine and the Doorstep Programme to support vulnerable people experiencing isolation.

Councillor Alan Hill, Cabinet Member for Communities and Islands, said: “I’m delighted to see KA Leisure post such positive results.

“The services it provides and the activities on offer are so important to communities across North Ayrshire.

“It’s important to recognise that while KA Leisure faced challenging times during lockdown, they also provided a much-needed outlet for many people, helping their health and wellbeing during what was a difficult time for all of us.”

All KA Leisure facilities are owned by the council and leased to the organisation as part of their partnership.