Charles Hill plan ‘not set in stone’ say football club

nrhn 031111 Charle's Hill sports hall protestors
nrhn 031111 Charle's Hill sports hall protestors

THe CHAIRMAN of Heanor Town Football club has issued a call for the public to give their views on how best to develop Charles Hill Sports Hall in Loscoe.

Last week Amber Valley Borough Council announced a £1million joint plan to replace the run- down Flamstead Avenue venue with a new community centre and an all-weather sports pitch.

The current sports hall was closed in March to save the authority £60,000 a year, despite a public campaign to save the building leading to a 1,300-name petition.

Now Heanor Town Football Club would joint fund the project using grant money and has this week confirmed it wants the facility to be used by the wider community.

Chariman John McCulloch said none of the plans for the development are ‘set in stone’. He is calling on community groups and sports clubs with ideas on how the new Charles Hill site could operate to approach Heanor Town FC.

He said: “We have to make sure that the facility serves the community.

“Our interest is to make sure that as many of the aspirations of the people that use it now and those that want to use it in a different way are realised.

“It is no good building a white elephant that nobody wants to use.

“We want to listen to people for now.”

Mr McCulloch said the club is already in talks with a number of community groups interested in using the proposed new pitches and community centre.

Another meeting between the club and council was also set to take place yesterday as the News went to press.

The authority plans to retain ownership of the new centre , with Heanor Town taking over the running of it on a lease basis. Details of the lease are ‘in the ‘early stages’, Mr McCulloch said.

The club is currently top of the East Midlands Counties League but it is forced to train at the all-weather pitches at Kimberley Leisure Centre during winter. The pitch there is too small to practice corners and free kicks, he said.

A new all-weather pitch could be completed as early as next year if funding applications are successful,.There is potential for community football tournaments to run in the summer months as well, he added.

l What do you think? Send your views on how a new centre could be used to or write to us at the address on Page 2.