Dozens of people have been made redundant at a brand new multi-million pound sports centre forced into closure by the coronavirus outbreak.
Moray Sports Centre will stay open until the end of next month before the £12 million complex, which only opened last summer, shuts for the foreseeable future.
All 30 employees will be made redundant.
Building owners Moray Sports Foundation say it is no longer financially possible to keep the centre running – and say they have “taken this action now to make sure we can operate the centre again”.
In a statement, they said: “In order to make sure the charity and the centre can open again in the future the trustees, this week, took the very difficult decision to close the centre, mothballing it for a period of time.
“We are saddened and sorry that this means that all staff will be made redundant, unless something really significant changes in the next month.
“We are in totally uncharted waters, we have taken this action now to make sure we can operate the centre again, in three, six, nine months’ time. We just don’t know.”
Moray Council also announced the closure of local libraries, leisure and community centres across the region from close of play on Friday.
The local authority has taken the decision following a reduction in staff numbers and footfall, allowing priorities to shift towards providing critical services elsewhere in the council.
High Life Highland (HLH) has withdrawn community run facilities in an effort to minimise social contact during the pandemic.
All archive centres, libraries, leisure centres, museums and swimming pools run by the Highland charity will be suspended indefinitely from close of business on Friday until further government guidance is announced.
Chief executive Steve Walsh said: “We hope our customers and members will understand we have come to this position in order to protect their health and wellbeing.”
The charity will continue to pay its 1,200 employees, with many being deployed to work in partnership with the council.
In Aberdeenshire, the closure of fitness suites, theatres, community centres and public halls was announced earlier this week. And yesterday, this was extended to include swimming pools, libraries and museums.
Macduff Marine Aquarium will also close and, as with other facilities, staff will remain on duty to cover essential duties such as caring for animals or maintaining safety and security.