North Wiltshire District Council has reached an agreement to allow all six leisure centres remain open until March 31.

All staff will become employees of the district council from tonight. This means the Olympiad at Chippenham, White Horse at Calne, Cricklade Leisure Centre, Lime Kiln and Wootton Basset, the Activity Zone at Malmesbury and Corsham Leisure Centre will be saved for the short term.

Negotiations are continuing with Calne and Cricklade to allow them to stay open after March 31.

A district council spokesman said: "The negotiations have been extremely complex due to the issues surrounding the transfer of staff under TUPE regulations.

"However, the Council is pleased to announce that progress has been made and that NWLL staff will be transferred to the Council for a period up to 31st March 2007, until they are transferred to a new service provider.

Council leader Carol O'Gorman said: "The council will pay the wages of the staff until March 31st.

"We were working on this agreement all day Friday and spent some time on it over the weekend and it has taken up the most part of today too.

"Every time we turned a corner there was another problem to deal with but all along we have been trying to safeguard the staff contracts. The staff are the most important ingredient in all of this as they make it possible for people to continue to use the centres.

"The leisure centres will stay open and that is the news we all wanted to hear."