Mystery group launches attempt to save centre

nrhn 100311 Members of the Loscoe WI and a badminton club, who use the Charles Hill Sports Hall in Loscoe hand over a petition to Amber Valley Borough councillor for Loscoe Bob Moon.
nrhn 100311 Members of the Loscoe WI and a badminton club, who use the Charles Hill Sports Hall in Loscoe hand over a petition to Amber Valley Borough councillor for Loscoe Bob Moon.

AN eleventh-hour bid from a mystery group to take on the Charles Hill Sports Hall and save it from being demolished has been submitted.

Amber Valley Borough Council, which owns the centre on Flamsteed Avenue in Loscoe, wants to close the centre in October, due to the £60,000-a-year cost of maintaining it.

It led to more that 1,300 people from the area signing a petition to keep it open.

The council has said the centre could stay open providing a third party can put together a workable proposal to take over the ownership of the facilities by this month.

Loscoe Women’s Institute and Heanor Junior Football Club have previously expressed an interest in the centre. However, they withdrew bids due to the high maintenance costs at the building, which needs some repairs.

At the latest full council meeting, Cllr Chris Short, who is dealing with the centre, announced that an as yet unnamed community group had submitted an 11th-hour bid. The council would not reveal who is behind the bid at this stage, he said.

Speaking at the meeting, he said: “We have received one tender submission from one of the initial five groups interested in taking this over.

“As far as the negotiation period regarding a new arrangement, this may take several months.

“The sports hall will definitely be closed by March 31 and the changing rooms will be kept open for the outdoor pitches.”

Cllr Short said the petition signed by users of the centre had come too late. He said: “It is great that so many people are interested in sport in that area. If those people were so interested in the past we would not have these problems to consider.”

Labour councillor Bob Moon, who represents Loscoe, pleaded with the controlling Conservative group to keep the indoor sports facilities open until the end of the negotiation period.

He said: “If you close the thing down the people that use it will not come back again.”

Tory council leader Cllr Stuart Bradford reminded the meeting that councillors had voted in favour of shutting the centre in September.

He added: “It is a shame they brought this petition now. They should have bought it six months ago.”

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