Cabinet Considers Support to Reopen Kidsgrove Sports Centre

Sports Centre dec reducedPlans to reopen part of Kidsgrove sports centre under a community management model could take another positive step forward.

The Council’s Cabinet is considering making a one-off capital contribution of £300,000 towards a significant refurbishment programme that includes improvements to dated “dry side” facilities.

The Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council are working with Kidsgrove Sports Centre Community Group, a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), to develop viable proposals for volunteers to reopen the sports centre. Both councils signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February this year agreeing to work together to support the group in their goal until aspirations to replace the building with a new leisure centre in the long-term are achieved.

The draft refurbishment plans, involving an initial budget of £700,000, feature improvements to the reception, gym, aerobics studio, changing rooms and a new sports hall roof. The sports centre, managed by the borough council, closed in June 2017 when the joint use agreement for its management came to an end.

Council Leader Simon Tagg said: “The availability of sports and leisure facilities is really important to residents in Kidsgrove. It is great news that we are now very close to being able to refurbish and reopen the sports centre and we welcome the fact that this will be managed and operated by the community themselves.

“Due to its current condition, the community group can’t reopen the building without support. The Borough Council’s proposed contribution is significant and shows how committed we are to helping provide quality sporting opportunities for residents, and we will continue to work on delivering on our ambition for a replacement facility within 10 years.”

Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “The county council is continuing to work very closely with the Borough Council and the community group on the future of Kidsgrove sports centre. We will be discussing the possibility of a significant contribution towards the project at a meeting of the Council’s Property Sub Committee in the near future.”

Kidsgrove Sports Centre Community Group also has funding applications being considered by Sport England.

Mark Clews, chairman of the community group, added: “Subject to the recommendation being approved, this is absolutely fantastic news for the community and something we’ve been working towards for the past 14 months.

“The group can’t thank the Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council enough for engaging positively and constructively with us since December. As a result we’re hopefully not far off from opening the doors of a much needed and cherished asset. This investment would help to ensure that residents in Kidsgrove had access to good quality leisure facilities and I’m sure they would be inspired to increase their participation in health, fitness and recreational activities.”

The Cabinet meeting, which is open to the public, takes place at Castle House on Wednesday, 19 September at 2pm.

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