South Kesteven leaders are optimistic about the future of the closed Deeping’s Leisure Centre.
Following the recent election of a new leadership, South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) is hopeful that the facility will be repaired and reopened.
Councillor Phil Dilks raised the matter during a meeting of Lincolnshire County Council, seeking an update on the progress of restoring the centre, which was closed by the previous South Kesteven Conservative administration.
Independent Councillor Richard Cleaver was narrowly elected as leader with a coalition on Thursday.
Welcoming the new administration, Councillor Richard Butroid (the county’s property portfolio holder), said the council is in ongoing discussions with the Department for Education and is awaiting their approval.
He outlined two options for the council: handing the centre to a third-party organisation or demolishing it.
“We’re very keen to see a third party organisation come and invest and run the services at the leisure centre,” he said.
However, any decision regarding the future of the site is contingent upon the permission of the Department for Education.
A paper regarding the centre’s fate is expected to be presented to Lincolnshire County Council’s executive committee, most likely in July.
“Demolition is our last resort,” Councillor Butroid he added.
South Kesteven District Council had previously abandoned a £10 million renovation plan for the centre in November 2021. It has now been passed back to Lincolnshire County Council.
Councillor Dilks commended the county council for engaging with the group advocating for the reopening of the centre, a step that the previous administration was criticised for neglecting. He expressed gratitude that the centre has not been demolished and shared the community’s desire to keep it open.
“A leisure centre was provided half a century ago to a very small community in the Deepings, the area has grown exponentially since then,” he said.
“We’re now much bigger and we want a leisure centre, we want to get it open, we all want to go for a swim.”
Councillor Ashley Baxter urged everyone to remain hopeful, considering the costs associated with both keeping the centre open and demolishing it.
He added: “The community is obviously foursquare behind plans to reopen the Leisure Centre.”
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