West Cumbria sports centre could be a runner
Last updated at 12:26, Friday, 24 August 2012
A former leader of Allerdale council has backed an idea for a £10 million leisure centre for Workington but warned there were “many hurdles to jump” first.
Alan Smith, current council leader, has put a December deadline on locating a site for the proposed centre.
Coun Tim Heslop, was council leader when he scrapped a previous Derwent Valley leisure centre plan in 2009 because of cost.
He said: “It’s a great idea but it all depends whether the funding can be found.
“I wouldn’t say the idea is any better than those previously suggested but a new leisure centre for the town would be fantastic if we can achieve it.
“If money is borrowed then it will have to be paid back and council taxpayers should not be hit by this.
“The council has to take a sensible approach and look at all of its options, whether it be selling off assets, finding someone to go into partnership with or applying for grants.
“I’m interested in seeing what comes out of the asset management plan and until then I could not comment on what assets could be sold.
“A leisure centre is very valuable and would be an asset for the young and old in the town.
“It’s still early days and there’s a lot of hurdles to jump before the idea can be set in stone.”
Plans to improve sports facilities in Workington have been in the pipeline for several years.
In 2005 Allerdale council drafted its Derwent Valley scheme – a £31.5 million stadium for Workington Town and Workington Reds football clubs.
The plan was to sell Tesco an £18 million site on The Cloffocks to build a new supermarket and free up the retailer’s current site for the stadium.
The rugby club was in favour but the football club was against it.
The idea was scrapped in 2009 when Coun Heslop said it would be a burden on taxpayers.
The council then suggested a £16 million leisure centre and rough designs were drawn up for the New Bridge Road site, but that was scrapped because Tesco failed to sign up for a new store in the town.
Coun Smith said last week that the council was losing money “hand over fist” at Workington Leisure Centre in Moorclose and that a new leisure centre could be West Cumbria’s Olympic legacy.
The existing leisure centre will continue to be maintained until a new centre is built.
Coun Smith hoped that a new centre would be well under way by 2015.
First published at 11:52, Friday, 24 August 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Why don't Allerdale try and get the likes of Virgin Active interested and work with them to find a suitable location. Much better in the hands of an organisation that can run a professional and modern leisure centre.
In 2005, was the figure of Â£31.5 million cost for a sporting village which included a sports centre, swimming pool and a small stadium, not just a stadium. I know the figure got twisted to suit arguments at the time but I'm sure that was for everything we are now talking about less the stadium for Â£10+ million.