CARDIGAN’S Teifi Leisure Centre is the logical venue for Ceredigion’s second Wellbeing Centre due to the town’s ageing population and high levels of social deprivation.

That is the recommendation that will go before members of Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, 6 December.

Identifying Cardigan as the area ‘with the greater levels of need’ the report pinpoints the town’s Teifi and Rhyd-y-Fuwch areas as the most deprived in the county and among the 10 per cent most deprived in Wales.

Faced with having to decide whether such a centre should be in the north or south, County Hall officers say the case for a Cardigan-based Wellbeing Centre outweighs that of Aberystwyth.

The town has a greater number of disabled residents – 28 per cent compared to Aberystwyth’s 16.7.

Cardigan’s 1.6 per cent increase in population since the 2011 census compares with Aberystwyth’s 14 per cent fall during this time.

The average age in Cardigan is 45, compared with Aberystwyth’s 32.

Cardigan (at 25 per cent) has a greater number of residents aged over 65 compared with Aberystwyth (14 per cent).

“Both Aberystwyth and Cardigan demonstrate greater levels of deprivation than the remainder of the county,” the report continues.

“However, data sets…clearly demonstrate that Cardigan has increased levels of deprivation compared to Aberystwyth.

“We also know that the Teifi and Rhyd-y-Fuwch areas are the two most deprived of Ceredigion and feature in the 10 per cent most deprived nationally.”

The local authority’s first Wellbeing Centre at Lampeter Leisure Centre is earmarked for opening next spring.

It will provide a wide range of services ’that consider and improve the physical, mental and social aspects of an individual’s wellbeing’.

“These Through-age services will include skills and employment advice, hardship and housing support, services for young people, support for carers, early support for Mental Health,” the report continues.

“The aim is to create three Wellbeing Hubs in the county, each serviced by a Wellbeing Centre.”

Giving her reaction, Cardigan councillor Elaine Evans said: "I welcome any initiative to help the well-being of the residents of Cardigan, but any changes to the layout of the leisure centre should not be to the detriment of facilities already provided.

"For health and well-being to be truly effective, the promotion of through-age fitness needs to be key.

"I know that there have been sport clubs in Lampeter which have been frustrated by the changes to their leisure centre and I don’t want a repeat of that in Cardigan."