Moorabool council has quashed rumours it plans to close the Bacchus Marsh and Ballan leisure facilities, assuring the community it will directly manage and operate the centres.

The Bacchus Marsh Leisure Centre and Bacchus Marsh and Ballan outdoor pools have been operated by Belgravia Leisure for the past decade.

Councillors agreed at this month’s council meeting to take over operations rather than outsourcing them to contractors.

As part of the restructure, effective from June 30, council will directly manage the Bacchus Marsh and Ballan outdoor pools, lease the leisure centre gym to an external provider and directly operate all kiosk facilities.

There were fears the council would close down the leisure centre and pools after a council report stated there was a declining membership base.

Officers told this month’s council meeting the decision to operate the facilities in-house would save council about $200,000 a year.

Moorabool mayor David Edwards said this would be a great opportunity for the council to work closely with the community and leisure centre users to expand services in the future.

Council will put out a tender in coming months seeking to identify potential new operators of the gym and group fitness programs.