Lincolnshire County Council has confirmed it “doesn’t run or provide any leisure facilities” as it hinted at the future of Deepings Leisure Centre.
South Kesteven District Council made the controversial decision not to proceed with £10.5million refurbishment of the centre on Thursday, and even turned down an option to carry out essential repairs only, meaning the much-loved centre will be closed permanently.
Instead, the authority has opted to hand the keys back to Lincolnshire County Council despite opposition members’ pleas to explore all the options.
Councillors were told at the meeting that LCC would be unable to offer funding or partnership due to their own financial challenges and the latest comment from the authority will not offer any comfort.
Councillor Richard Butroid, executive councillor for people management, legal and corporate property at the county council, said: “The leisure centre building is part of the school site, owned by the county council.
“Any future use will need to comply with Department for Education guidance which would mean initially offering to transfer the site to the school.
“The county council doesn’t run or provide any leisure facilities in the county — this is a district council function.
“Following South Kesteven District Council’s decision to permanently close the Deepings Leisure Centre, we will be looking at the next steps we need to put in place, working alongside the Anthem Trust, school leaders and SKDC.”
The SKDC meeting on Thursday ended with shouts from the public gallery of “You’ve let the people of the Deepings down” and other vocal dismay.
Councillor Kelham Cooke told the meeting: ““We can’t keep spending money that we cannot afford. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. None of us wanted to be making this decision.”
However, opponents described the move as a “betrayal” and accused the council of “leaving the leisure centre to rot”.
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