Firm claims backing for sports centre

Submitted picture'LEISURE PLAN: Artist's impression of what the new Belper Leisure Centre could look like.
Submitted picture'LEISURE PLAN: Artist's impression of what the new Belper Leisure Centre could look like.
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the public are backing a plan to build a new multi-million pound leisure centre in Belper – according to the company behind the designs.

It comes after an exhibition of plans for the new centre was hailed a success.

The Leeds firm behind the designs for the proposed site on Field Lane, say the consensus of opinion was that locals were in favour of the new facility.

Representatives of Landmark Cannon LLP were on hand to answer questions when the drawings of the potential centre went on show at the Lion Hotel and Belper Town Football Club.

More than 50 people went along to see what the ambitious project, which is backed by Amber Valley Borough Council, was all about.

Richard Morton, a director at Landmark Cannon LLP, said: “It was generally very positive.

“There were some people who were against the development for a variety of reasons. But they were very much in the minority.

“The majority of people who came to see the plans were very keen to have these new facilities in Belper and in the town centre, both for themselves and, in a wider sense, in terms of bringing new investment into the town centre itself.

“We have bent over backwards to allow local people to come and have their say. But you cannot please all the people all of the time.

“However, the majority of people see the possibility of a new facility in the heart of the town, giving them up-to-date new facilities, as a good thing.”

Asked how the authority would pay for the new centre, especially given the authority is having to slash £2 million from its budget over the next two years, council leader Cllr Stuart Bradford said money was not the pressing issue at the moment.

“People in Belper are getting the wrong end of the stick. We are not considering the money side of it – just its feasibility. We have agreed to go one step at a time,” he said.

l What do you think to the plan to build a new leisure centre in Belper? Let us know

at www.belpernews.co.uk.

Turn to Page 6 to read views from residents on the plan.