Sheffield Council cash concession for leisure centre

A demonstration outside Stocksbridge Leisure Centre against proposals to close it.
A demonstration outside Stocksbridge Leisure Centre against proposals to close it.
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CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Stocksbridge Leisure Centre are being offered £125,000 by Sheffield Council.

The money is to pay for the ‘safety and security’ costs of mothballing the centre for four months, allowing protesters more time to come up with ‘viable’ options to keep it open.

Alternatively, the money could be used for subsidising operation of the venue, should the 4Stocksbridge Leisure Centre group and Stocksbridge Town Council come up with an immediate rescue plan.

The funding is set to be approved at a meeting of Sheffield Council’s cabinet on Wednesday – and a new deadline for a business plan, of Friday, April 19, has also been set.

But Emma Gregory, chairman of the 4SLC campaign group, said: “We haven’t been told about the money or the April 19 deadline.

“We were asked for an interim plan by the end of March, which we submitted, but it seems the council keeps moving the goalposts and we are not happy.

“We should have been told about the money but we’ve heard nothing.

“The council is not giving us full information which will allow us to come up with meaningful proposals.

“The staff at the leisure centre are also facing continued uncertainty.”

A report to the council’s cabinet recommending allocation of the money says the authority should ‘do everything possible to support Stocksbridge Town Council and/or 4SLC’.

Coun Isobel Bowler, council cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, said: “A lot of work has been undertaken over the last few months and the council has been flexible and open.”

n A date has also been set for Don Valley Stadium’s closure – September 30.