Thursday 27 January 2022
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Nottingham

‘Much-loved’ Nottingham leisure centre could be sold if no-one comes forward to operate it

A leisure centre in Nottingham could be put up for sale because so far no-one has come forward offering to run it.

Nottingham City Council made the decision to close the John Carroll Leisure Centre in Denman Street Central, Radford in June 2021 describing it as the “least used facility with the highest council subsidy”.

Residents living next to the centre said the closure of the popular facility would cause crime to soar in the area and mean hundreds of children will have nowhere to go.

Campaigners fought to save the leisure centre, which had a gym, swimming pool as well as being a venue for sports and fitness classes, with more than 60 people taking part in a street protest. A petition against the closure was also signed by 2,000 people.

Cllr Eunice Campbell-Clark (Lab) in charge of leisure, culture and schools, was confident the building could be saved and entered into talks with Nottingham Forest Community Trust.

Last year, she said: “We don’t want young people on the streets. We are eager to maintain it. It grieves me to close it but it is a massive drain on the budget.”

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The council said the decision was made as it faced huge cost pressures due to the coronavirus pandemic but also anticipated losses from the failed energy company it set up, Robin Hood Energy, which went into administration in 2020.

The city council argued there was alternative provision at Djanogly Community Leisure Centre and Harvey Hadden Sports Complex – but residents said they needed a community centre on their doorstep.

Nottingham Forest Community Trust were involved to see if it could find a ‘long-term sustainable future for the site’ which included organising talks with community based organisations.

But so far, no-one has been found to take over the facility.

A Nottingham City Council spokesman said: “We have spoken to a number of community organisations over the past six months to explore the possibility of them taking on John Carroll in some form. Unfortunately, it is not currently viable for any of them to do this.

“We continue to consider options for what the building could be transformed into and will examine all opportunities that may come forward.

“Ultimately, if no solution can be found, the land will be put up for sale. This is consistent with the council’s policy for buildings which are no longer operational.

“However, we understand community feeling about John Carroll and hope we can find another way forward.

“It was the least-used facility with the highest council subsidy, and so with a great deal of regret, the decision was taken to close it.

“There is alternative leisure provision nearby at the Djanogly Community Leisure Centre and Harvey Hadden Sports Complex, both of which have excellent facilities.”

 

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