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Kidsgrove Sports Centre closure to go ahead - but new leisure development proposed

Newcastle Borough Council bosses say that it is looking at proposals for new leisure services to replace Kidsgrove Sports Centre.

The authority announced in May that the centre – which it runs, but is owned by Staffordshire County Council – would be closed on 30 June because it was in a 'poor state' and 'no longer fit for purpose'.

It estimated that £2.4million of repairs were needed to bring it up to an acceptable condition.

Campaign groups were launched to oppose the plans, with residents angry that there had been no consultation on the closure.

Kidsgrove Sports Centre Action Group told us they were also concerned about the impact of health on residents, and those for whom the centre is a social lifeline. 

They have called for a postponement, and are planning a protest outside a Borough Council cabinet meeting at 5:30 this evening (27 June).

But now both councils say that while the closure will go ahead as planned, they are working together on the long-term future of leisure, health and well-being services in the area, including potential development of the site for leisure facilities.

Cllr. Elizabeth Shenton, Leader of the Borough Council, said: “Now that we are in the process of securing the land from the county council, as a first step to replacing the centre on the existing site, we are working hard to find alternative interim leisure facilities for families in Kidsgrove, but this may take some time.

“In the meantime, we will set up a new stakeholder group comprising representatives of clubs and other groups who use the current facilities.

"We will be asking them to advise us on the interim offer and they will also be consulted as part of planning for a replacement facility in the area.”

Leader of Staffordshire County Council Philip Atkins said: “In the short term, as well as the county council making this land for a new sports centre available, we will continue helping Newcastle by influencing key partners such as schools to make their property available for interim sport and leisure services and looking at our property in the area to see if there are any potential suitable alternative venues.

"The provision of leisure services is the responsibility for district and borough councils; however, we remain open to any further proposals the borough council wish to make, and continue to help where we can.”

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