New sports complex could be built in Derbyshire village - years after its predecessor was flattened

Charles Hill Leisure Centre in Flamstead Avenue, Loscoe. Image from Google.
Charles Hill Leisure Centre in Flamstead Avenue, Loscoe. Image from Google.

Plans have been revived for a Derbyshire sports centre, years after its predecessor was demolished and an attempted costly rebuild fell flat.

Amber Valley Borough Council had first mooted a £2 million overhaul for the Charles Hill sports complex on Flamstead Avenue, Loscoe, back in 2011.

It was to include a floodlit artificial football pitch, extra changing rooms and a community room.

Now, eight years later, the plans are being pushed forward again with money being due to be set aside for developing new designs and funding negotiations.

In 2013, the facilities were in need of urgent repairs and plans to spend £2 million on a new sports and community centre were approved.

Half of the money was due to come from the borough council and the rest from a community interest company (CIC), made up of sports clubs and organisations.

These groups would pitch for grant funding.

However, a lack of funding from grant-awarding organisations led to the proposals being “aborted” and the dilapidated building and its changing rooms were demolished.

The demolition was approved due to the cost of maintenance and condition of the old changing rooms.

This, the council says “effectively ended formal sports use at Charles Hill”.

Now, the cost of a new facility with changing rooms and a 3G pitch are thought to be £1.5 million – and “too aspirational”.

Borough council officers say that the key requirement is for new changing rooms with a club/community room to support youth football development and as a home for Heanor Juniors FC and AFC Loscoe.

It says that Sport England’s latest estimate for a good quality four-team changing room, with a room for officials and a club room would be £680,000.

Meanwhile, “the absolute minimum requirement” to support formal sports usage would be a two-team changing room plus a room for officials, but no club room, for £260,000.

However, the council has not yet decided which option it prefers.

The borough council is due to set aside £7,300 at a meeting on Wednesday, September 4 to fund negotiations between organisations to back the project.

Alongside this, the borough council would re-commit £100,000 to the project for consultancy support.

It says that Heanor and Loscoe Town Council has committed itself to help fund the scheme and that further funding could be raised by community groups.

A further £308,480 is also due to come forward from the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation through a Section 106 agreement signed in 2017 as part of approved plans to build 68 houses on the former Loscoe Miners Welfare site opposite Charles Hill.

The funding from the housing development was feared to have fallen through because the developers had not started work on the site – but this began two months ago.

A report on the new sports centre says: “The indicative costs of any subsequent future development are significant and will require a substantial amount of external finance (via the Football Foundation, S106 Agreements and other external partners).

“The extent of this funding has not been quantified and cannot be guaranteed at this stage.

“This will need to be confirmed and in place prior to the council approving any further progress with the development.”

The council says that support for the project will largely have  to be provided by other organisations at an extra cost because it “long has the necessary capacity in-house”.

Eddie Bisknell , Local Democracy Reporting Service