The trust that runs leisure facilities across North Ayrshire is expecting its income to rise by half a million pounds - months after admitting that it had made staff redundant.

North Ayrshire Council says  memberships of KA Leisure improved last year following the Covid-19 pandemic.

A report on KA Leisure's performance, prepared for a meeting of North Ayrshire Council’s cabinet reveals that membership numbers increased to 8,800 and trading income is projected to have risen by more than £500,000 from the previous year.

The same report reveals that KA Leisure's trading deficit, after taking into account funding provided by the council, was £13,974 in 2023-24 - down from £35,423 two years earlier.

The funding provided by North Ayrshire Council to KA Leisure will be cut by more than £334,000 in 2024-25, to slightly more than £5 million.

KA Leisure's budget for 2024-25, also reported to NAC's cabinet, projects that income from other sources will rise by £380,000 in the next 12 months to £5.345 million - but that it's still expecting a trading deficit of £10,000 by the end of the next financial year.

In December Ayrshire Weekly Press reported that eight KA Leisure staff members had been made redundant as part of a major restructure.

The redundancies, detailed in documents supplied to our reporter, affected operations, customer service and golf course staff.

The restructure also saw the creation of 10 new manager or assistant manager posts within the organisation.

When contacted in December for comment on the restructure, KA Leisure's PR firm said they "don't wish to make comment at this time".

KA:Leisure, the trading name of North Ayrshire Leisure Limited, runs facilities including Vikingar in Largs, Auchenharvie Leisure Centre in Stevenston and the Portal in Irvine, as well as 'pay as you play' golf courses at Ravenspark, Auchenharvie and Routenburn.

Councillor Alan Hill, NAC's cabinet member for communities and islands, said that while leisure services across the country continue to face challenges, particularly from the rise in operational costs, the positive report shows KA Leisure is on the right track.

He added: “We all know the vital importance of the services and activities offered by KA Leisure across North Ayrshire and the positive impact they have on people’s health and wellbeing.

“So, it’s heartening to hear of its continued resurgence after a very difficult time during the Covid-19 restrictions.

“Even now, the cost-of-Living crisis is impacting all of us and those rising costs present their own challenges to KA Leisure.

“But both the council and North Ayrshire Leisure Ltd will continue to work closely to tackle the financial pressures and further develop the organisation and build on its most recent successes.”

Malcolm McPhail, chief executive officer at KA Leisure, said: “We recognise that the landscape is challenging for many leisure trusts in Scotland, but we are encouraged by the fact that we are defying this trend with our solid partnerships, commercial acumen and innovative approaches which have all contributed to our ongoing financial recovery.

“We extend our gratitude to North Ayrshire Council for their continued support and value greatly the faith they have placed in us. 

"It is our privilege to provide a wide variety of quality programmes aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of our North Ayrshire communities and we are honoured to be leading North Ayrshire’s Health and Wellbeing Alliance. 

“I also want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to our exceptional staff for their dedication and commitment to our organisation.

"Their hard work and passion have been integral to our success and the significant impact we've achieved over the past year.

"Our thanks also go to our loyal customers for their continued support.”