North Lanarkshire Council is closing 39 swimming pools, sports centres, libraries and community facilities to plug a budget shortfall.

It plans to shut facilities including the Matt Busby Sports Centre in Bellshill and the John Smith Pool in Airdrie to save £4.7m a year.

No dates have been given for the closures and affected staff are likely to be offered redeployment.

Council leader Jim Logue said making the decision was “overwhelmingly difficult”.

The council is set to close 12 of its Active NL leisure buildings.

The authority said it considered a range of criteria such as usage, condition and the money required in coming years for maintenance.

The announcement comes after, the Accounts Commission warned that Scotland’s local authorities must radically change how they operate to maintain the services they offer.

BBC research found Scotland’s councils faced a £700m funding gap in their budgets this year.

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