District council chiefs grant Five Acres leisure centre 'stay of execution'

By Nigel Walrond   |   Sports Editor   |
Wednesday 14th March 2018 2:47 pm
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The Five Acres Leisure Centre site. ()

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FIVE Acres Leisure Centre will stay open for the foreseeable future after councillors shelved plans to close it at the end of July.

The council will keep the gym, swimming pool and Forest Theatre operating as they are which will cost the taxpayer around £12,000 a month - but leading councillors say they will not invest in refurbishing the site.

Cabinet members say they’ve postponed making a decision in light of a recent report into the impact the site’s closure would have on the local community.

The fate of the site will be considered once the council’s leisure strategy is produced and officers have gathered sufficient evidence to make an informed decision - this is not expected to be before September 2018.

Council leader Tim Gwilliam (Forest First, Berry Hill) said: “Studying the community impact assessment it was quite clear that we weren’t in a position to make any decision on Five Acres.

“It needs proper examining by officers and for that reason we are not in a position to make any decision on Five Acres."

• THE funding crisis at Five Acres Leisure Centre will not stymie West Dean Parish Council’s long term plan of creating a multi cultural community and sports asset on the site.

Parish council leaders are calling a ‘shareholders’ meeting next week to discuss the fate of the college theatre which is facing demolition.

Council clerk Dave Kent said: "Our long term ambitions for the site remain the same and will need massive investment. In the meantime we want to keep the theatre and the sports fields running in their present form."

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