The future of Deighton Sports Arena is in the hands of the local community.
Crisis-hit Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL), hit by spiralling energy prices and rising costs, gave the centre a reprieve but there are warnings it could close for good.
Deighton Sports Arena, the swimming pool at Colne Valley Leisure Centre in Slaithwaite and Batley Baths & Recreation Centre were all made subject to a “temporary” closure at the end of the last financial year to save money.
Colne Valley pool re-opened and Deighton was to operate on reduced hours but Batley looks to have shut for good.
Now a public meeting is to be held at Deighton Sports Arena to look at ways of keeping the centre open, such as via an asset transfer where the centre is given over to a community group to run.
The meeting is on Thursday September 14, 6pm at the centre and everyone is welcome to attend.
Clr Amanda Pinnock (Lab, Ashbrow) said: “Due to financial pressures there’s an imminent risk that Deighton Sports Arena will close its doors for good if we do not find a solution, and quickly.
“I know residents are passionate about the arena and it is valued as an important resource to the community.
“A meeting will take place on Thursday to discuss the future of the arena, asset transfer and other opportunities to keep the arena going.
“If anyone is interested in taking over and running Deighton Sports Arena please do come along to the meeting. Everyone is welcome.”
Kirklees Council gave Kirklees Active Leisure a £6.1 million bailout this year but the council is now engulfed in its own financial crisis. The council has told KAL it will only receive a maximum of £2.55 million next year.
That has meant the council and KAL carrying out a full-scale review into KAL’s future operation which could mean some centres or swimming pools closing down completely.
KAL is a charitable trust which runs sports centres on behalf of the council and the review will look at whether such a trust is still viable or what other options are available. The union UNISON has called for leisure facilities to return to council control.
The Leisure Centre Review Programme Board is looking at all options and a report was due to go to the council’s Cabinet later this month.
The swimming pool at Dewsbury Sports Centre was rumoured to have been threatened with closure when cost-cutting was first mooted last year but it remained open.
The centre needs around £2.5 million in repairs to bring it up to standard. The centre did, in fact, close on Friday September 8 for an indefinite period for investigations into what was thought to be Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in parts of the building.
The council is currently seeking £500,000 in funding from Sport England’s Swimming Pool Support Fund. To be eligible for the money swimming pools must be at risk of closure and the council has placed all eight of its swimming pools at risk.
They are at: Huddersfield Leisure Centre at Springwood; Colne Valley Leisure Centre; Holmfirth Pool and Fitness Centre; Stadium Health & Fitness Club at the John Smith’s Stadium; Scissett Baths; Dewsbury Sports Centre; Batley Sports & Tennis Centre at Howden Clough; and Spen Valley Leisure Centre at Cleckheaton.