Posted: 18.08.21 at 09:17 by The Editor
South Kesteven District Councillors will all have their say on the future of Deepings Leisure Centre after the Cabinet decided the full Council should have the opportunity to vote on the matter.
An extraordinary district council meeting will be scheduled shortly.
South Kesteven District Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Leisure, Councillor Barry Dobson, said: “No councillor underestimates the significant impact that closing the leisure centre will have on the local community, clubs and groups, and the school which shares the use of the facility. Given the significance and urgency of the decision, we believe all councillors should have the opportunity to vote on the recommendations made in the report.
“We know that any decision will not be taken lightly, however the serious health and safety concerns of the building cannot be ignored.
“The building requires significant investment now, and in the future, just to keep it and all its users safe. Regrettably, the Council will need to consider whether the building is safe, suitable and sustainable for us to continue managing a leisure centre at the site.”
The centre has been forced to remain closed due to serious health and safety concerns since 27th July where the rapid deterioration of the building was highlighted after heavy rainfall caused significant damage to the roof, widespread water ingress throughout the building, and lights in the pool hall were affected. Irrespective of the decision made by the Council, the leisure centre is unlikely to be able to reopen until significant remedial work has been completed to ensure the safety of staff and users.
The report presented to the Cabinet highlighted that the 47-year-old Deepings Leisure Centre building has required ongoing preventative and reactive repairs throughout its life. Despite this, in line with its age, the building is now showing major signs of deterioration and is rapidly approaching the end of its operational life.
A building condition survey estimates more than £1.2million worth of remedial work is required to bring the centre back into safe operation. This included a complete replacement of the roof structure as well as replacing the original oil boilers, one of which was already beyond repair.
The report also confirmed the Council’s desire to establish a new leisure centre for the Deepings. The report recommends that the Council continues to explore a new potential site on Millfield Road, which is owned by Lincolnshire County Council, as part of a joint residential leisure development in the Local Plan refresh.
While the leisure centre is managed by South Kesteven District Council, the building and the land is owned by Lincolnshire County Council.
If the District Council ceases the management of the leisure centre in the current building, both Councils will work to ensure outdoor leisure activities continue at Linchfield Road Playing Fields.
The Deepings School will also be supported to ensure they have a suitable venue for exams and PE lessons in the short term, while the County Council works with The Anthem Trust regarding how best to re-instate a fit for purpose school sports hall.
Opportunities will be explored to redeploy Deepings Leisure Centre’s six full-time and 22 part-time and casual staff across LeisureSK’s three remaining centres.