Council bosses set to pull plug on swimming at Creswell Leisure Centre

Creswell Leisure Centre could be closing down according to Bolsover District Council. Picture: Andrew Roe
Creswell Leisure Centre could be closing down according to Bolsover District Council. Picture: Andrew Roe

Council bosses look set to pull the plug on swimming in Creswell - after a survey found public support for their plans to enhance facilities in Clowne.

Bolsover Council undertook a district-wide survey from 13th October until 8th November 2014 and figures revealed that 78.6 per cent of people either strongly agreed or agreed with the proposal to improve the facilities on offer at Clowne Sports Centre and cease the current pool operations at Creswell Leisure Centre.

The new facilities at Clowne Sports Centre would include a swimming pool with a smaller teaching pool, an enhanced fitness suite, food and drink options and a children’s soft play zone.

Bolsover Council’s cabinet member for social inclusion, coun Ann Syrett, said: “We asked for people’s opinions and the feedback and results we have received show that they agree with our proposal. We will now forge ahead with plans, based on the consultation, to improve the facilities and activities on offer at Clowne.”

The council say 3,795 households responded to the survey, a response rate of 10.8 per cent, with 35,100 questionnaires distributed.

Creswell Leisure Centre, which was built 90 years ago, has no room for expansion and needs significant investment, thought to be in excess of £300,000 over the next five years, just to maintain its current operations.

It is understood the leisure facility will continue to operate as normal until a decision is made on its future which could include operating it without a swimming pool or another organisation or body taking over the management and operation of the facility.

Coun Syrett added, “The reason behind this decision is that, in its current format, Creswell Leisure Centre is subsidised to the tune of £160,000 a year and with no room for expansion or increased income, then this figure is only likely to increase over time, meaning we would have to increase the Council Tax.”

“But with a new improved facility at Clowne, which has the land to expand its range of activities, we believe that we can make over £4m in savings over 22-years and create a facility that actually makes a profit.”

“We have, and continue to face huge cuts to our government grants, so we have to look at every service we provide to see where we can save money. We have to make decisions on what is best for the District as a whole and best for people living in the district.”

“Unfortunately we cannot continue to subsidise a leisure centre that has no means of attracting further income, that’s why we believe that an improved leisure centre at Clowne, that offers better facilities and more choice for users, is best for the District and will help to improve people’s choice and health.”

The full report on the consultation undertaken can be viewed at www.askderbyshire.gov.uk/.