AMBER Valley Borough Council has offered to take over running Belper Leisure Centre — while also continuing with plans to build a brand new £11.5 million facility in the town.
This week the Tory leader of the borough council Cllr Stuart Bradford penned an open letter to the company running the current centre offering to take it back and run it.
It came after the latest full meeting of the authority when a report on the plan for the new leisure centre off Field Lane was discussed. It highlighted the “current shortfall of sufficient leisure facilities in Belper compared with other towns in the borough”.
The council says it is willing to run the current leisure centre on Kilbourne Road alongside building and running a new complex in the town centre. It says the new centre would provide ‘wet’ facilities, while the current centre would have more ‘dry’ facilities.
l Continued on Page 3
l Contuinued on Page 3 The Kilbourne Road centre is currently run by a Trust called Belper Leisure Centre Ltd and supported by £190,000 a year funding from the borough council.
Leisure centre manager Neil Malenoir said this week
A council spokesman this week insisted the move would not see the current centre sold by the authority at a later date.
He added that the report, which was discussed in private, with the public excluded, explored the current limitations of the existing centre as a facility for all of the community, and the challenges that the aging centre faces in financing improvements itself.
Cllr Bradford said: “The offer to take back the centre received cross party support, and is a clear indication that we are determined to improve leisure facilities in Belper.
“I would urge those in a position to influence that prospect to work with us for the benefit of the whole community.”
The leader of the Amber Valley Labour group, Cllr Paul Jones, said the party supports Cllr Bradford’s proposal in principle.
“I think this is something we can support as a party.”
Others towns in the borough – Heanor, Alfreton and Ripley have all seen their council owned leisure centres revamped, with a total of XXX spend on improving the three centres.