MP joins campaign to protect threatened leisure centre

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PLEAS to keep Stocksbridge Leisure Centre open until a new sports centre for the north of Sheffield is created have been supported by the town’s MP.

Angela Smith, the Labour politician, who represents Penistone and Stocksbridge, spoke after The Star revealed plans are being developed for a new swimming pool and gym.

The multi-million pound facility – the site of which has not yet been revealed – is to receive funding from Sheffield’s £10 million grant to become a national centre of sport and exercise medicine.

Sheffield Council plans to shut Stocksbridge Leisure Centre in the coming months to save £400,000 a year annual subsidy as it implements 
£50 million of cuts in 2013/14.

But Ms Smith said: “The news the council is considering closing Stocksbridge Leisure Centre is deeply concerning. I believe we need to work together as a community to make sure that this pool remains open until the new pool for the north is built.

“It would be wrong to leave people in the north of the city without adequate leisure provision which would be the case if this pool closes.”

Residents have already called for Stocksbridge Leisure Centre to be kept open until a new facility is ready and for the building to be in the town.

A protest is planned outside the centre on Saturday, at 10.30am, which about 500 people are expected to attend, while there is a public meeting at 10.30am at the ARC centre, Manchester Road, tomorrow, at 10.30am, to discuss the issue.