‘Use demolition cash to save threatened Sheffield leisure centre’

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.
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CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Stocksbridge Leisure Centre say £105,000 being set aside to cover the building’s demolition should be spent on helping save it.

Members of the 4SLC group were last night meeting Sheffield Council leader, Coun Julie Dore, to discuss their plan to take over the centre and keep it open.

4SLC’s chairman, Emma Gregory, said: “We’ve known about the money being set aside for some time. We’re saying, instead of using it for the demolition, why not put the money to good use and save the centre.”

The group and Stocksbridge Town Council have two weeks to put together a viable business plan to keep the centre going.

Sheffield Council said it is willing to set aside £125,000 to either help the business plan or mothball the centre for four months.

The centre is currently losing £400,000 a year because not enough people are using it to cover operating costs.

Emma said she aimed to ‘have a proper discussion’ at last night’s meeting with Coun Dore after having previous problems with Sheffield Council in talks over 4SLC’s proposals.

She said: “Council officials have previously contradicted themselves in telling us what is happening and what we need to do. We are asking for their co-operation and the right information.”

Opposition Liberal Democrat spokesman for culture and sport, Coun Alison Brelsford, who represents Stocksbridge, added: “Labour councillors may claim talks are ongoing but they are twisting the knife in their betrayal.

“It’s clear Labour have no interest in saving the centre – as their demolition plan shows. It’s about time they showed some respect to Stocksbridge and were honest.”