Leisure centre faces closure as council examines costs

Creswell Leisure Centre.
Creswell Leisure Centre.

Bolsover District Council will be asking people for their views on a proposal to cease its current operation at Creswell Leisure Centre and provide an enhanced sports provision at Clowne Sports Centre.

A consultation questionnaire is currently being prepared and it is proposed that this will be posted to every household in the district for people to complete.

A draft ‘Facilities Strategy’ has been produced which highlights that Creswell Leisure Centre, which was built 90 years ago, needs significant investment - in excess of £300,000 over the next five years - just to maintain its current operations.

Operating at 95per cent capacity and with no room for expansion, the council claims there is limited opportunity to increase the client base and the income at Creswell Leisure Centre to prevent it becoming a financial burden on the council and the tax payer.

The council is looking at a possible alternative option for an enhanced sports facility with activities such as a swimming pool, smaller teaching pool, enhanced fitness suite, food and beverage offer and children’s soft play zone at Clowne Sports Centre.

This is a relatively new facility and has land to expand its range of activities and has the infrastructure required already in place.

Over the past two years the council has managed reductions in government grants of £2million and a further reduction of £1.5million is forecast in the next two years.

Bolsover District Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Councillor Ann Syrett, said: “Initial costings have shown that if we improve the facilities at Clowne and cease our current operations at Creswell Leisure Centre, then we could save in excess of £4m over the next twenty years.

“We decided in March 2014 to explore this option further and we will soon be asking for our local residents, service users and potential service users’ views on this proposal.

“It’s clear that we have to do something, however, I must stress that this is just a proposal at present. No decision has been made and that’s why we are consulting and asking for people’s views, as this will help inform the difficult

decisions we have got to make in the next few years.”

At this stage the future of Creswell Leisure Centre has not been decided, but options such as other organisations taking over the management and operation of the facility, operating the facility without a swimming pool or selling it

to a private developer are all being looked at.

It is envisaged that the questionnaire will be available to complete in July 2014 after which the results will be analysed and then fed back to the relevant council committee for a decision to be made.