£4.5m needed to revamp 'crumbling' Kidsgrove Sports Centre
AN AGEING leisure centre would cost £4.5 million to revamp or £6 million to replace, a report has revealed.
Kidsgrove Sports Centre was opened in 1976 and has reached the end of its life span.
The swimming pool has been shut to the public for a year after the roof was damaged by heavy wind and rain.
It would cost £6 million to replace the centre and £4.5 million to give it a full refurbishment.
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A reduced refurbishment to give the facility an extra 12-year life span would cost £2.5 million, but would not include work to the synthetic outdoor pitch which is used for football, rugby and hockey training.
Staffordshire County Council owns the building, but the day-to-day management is looked after by Newcastle Borough Council.
In a report to the borough council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday, members will be told there is no funding available until 2015 at the earliest to carry out any of the three refurbishment options.
A recent bid to the Sport England Improvement Fund for £500,000 to refurbish the changing rooms and outdoor synthetic pitches at the Fourth Avenue facility has also been turned down.
A report to the committee states: “The immediate success of the centre now relies on sufficient numbers of swimmers, gym and class users returning and using the facility and the avoidance of further building failures.
“The centre requires a sizeable subsidy and due to the current range of facilities and general condition of the building, it fails to provide a quality experience, by comparison to the council’s other leisure site.”
Around £200,000 of repairs have been carried out at the pool which is now being used by schoolchildren again, but will not open to the public until next Saturday at the earliest.
Residents have had to travel to Newcastle or Biddulph to use alternative facilities.
NHS manager Helen Chadwick, a 43-year-old mother-of-two, of First Avenue, said: “At the minute local residents will just be thrilled to have the pool open again.
“In the long-term it’s vital the facility is invested in.
“There is a lot of new housing going up in Kidsgrove and we need good leisure facilities as the population increases.”
Kidsgrove councillor Margaret Astle said: “£6 million is a lot of money, but the centre is an important part of the community.
“A lot of the residents feel very aggrieved that they have been without a swimming pool for 12 months, while Newcastle gets a new state of the art complex. They would jump for joy if the funds could be found to build something like that here.”