Bid fails to keep Nantyglo Leisure Centre open
11:44am Monday 19th May 2014 in News
THE group behind the campaign to re-open Nantyglo Leisure Centre has announced it is giving up the fight after discovering it would cost £1.2 million to re-open.
A CAMPAIGN group has admitted defeat after discovering it would cost £1.2 million to re-open Nantyglo Leisure Centre.
The decision to close the centre was announced last in August last year as part of Blaenau Gwent council’s bid attempt to address a £10 million deficit.
Despite an outcry by residents, Nantyglo Leisure Centre officially closed on Christmas Eve last year 2013.
Nantyglo Community Leisure Ltd, a not-for-profit registered company run by volunteers and paid staff, was set up, hoping to take over the running of the Nantyglo Leisure centre from the council.
The group was set up by Stella Hazell, John Watkins and David Bloomfield.
The three have spent more than eight months hoping to persuade working with GAVO and the Wales Cooperative Centre to develop a business case for the council to carry out a community asset transfer of the building to the group, to enable them group to reopen it as an independently controlled leisure centre.
But a damning survey recently found the centre would need a £1.2 million makeover in the next few years to bring the building and grounds up to standard — a figure confirmed by a Blaenau Gwent council spokeswoman.
The Argus found was told the survey is not a public document, the Argus was told.
A statement released by the group said: “Due to the footfall needed and the findings of the recent conditions survey by Blaenau Gwent council, it has become apparent that the costs associated with reopening the leisure centre will far outweigh the income that they could expect to make.
“A commercial decision has had to be made by the group that they can not to pursue the community asset transfer with Blaenau Gwent.
“It has taken a lot of soul searching and disappointment for the group to come to this decision and they would like to thank all those who backed have supported their campaign to reopen the leisure centre.”
A council spokeswoman said: “We understand that this is disappointing for the group, who we know have worked hard to try to secure a future for the sports centre.
“The group, with support from the council, worked to develop a business model and carried out significant market research into the potential retention of the leisure facility.
“As a result of this business planning process, the group have made the decision not to proceed with the asset transfer.”
Campaigner Stella Hazell said she was “devastated”.
“We all want to thank you all for your fantastic support over the last eight months,” she said. “We were so looking forward to welcoming you all back to the leisure centre because we are aware that so many of you have been badly affected by it’s closure. Thank you all so very much.”
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