‘No’ to the council’s leisure centre offer

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.

THE company in charge of Belper Leisure Centre has rebuffed Amber Valley Borough Council’s offer of taking over the running of the venue.

In an open letter to the leader of the council Cllr Stuart Bradford, Belper Leisure Centre Ltd said it was not able to support the proposal.

The response came after Cllr Bradford had penned an open letter to the company.

He said the council would take over running the centre on Kilbourne Road and also build a new £11.5 million one on Field Lane.

But Christine Worth, who is chairman of Belper Leisure Centre Ltd, which is a charitable company, said: “Belper Leisure Centre Ltd, after much consideration and deliberation, was not able to support the council’s request to provide dry side only facilities at the Kilbourne Road site.

“The closure of the swimming pool was not conducive with the wishes of members or with the professional advice given.”

She added it had been put to the council that it refurbish the current centre, to include additional parking, but claimed the authority would not discuss it.

Mrs Worth wrote: “We consider that this option would have held most benefit for the community.” She claimed a new centre on Field Lane would be at a greater cost to the community.

Mrs Worth added that Belper Leisure Centre Ltd could not, without the consent of its members and the Charity Commission, sell or give its assets to the council. The letter also states planned investment on development of the current centre by the company and touches on the benefits of having two pools in Belper.

It finishes with Mrs Worth saying the company is happy to continue providing community leisure facilities on behalf of the council.