Campaigners call for South Leeds Sports Centre to be reopened

The fight to reopen South Leeds Sports Centre will continue at Holbeck Gala on Saturday when campaigners will kickstart a petition with a simple message:

“Reopen our centre for the summer holidays.”

Members of the Splashback campaign last night agreed to their next wave of activity, which will include the launch of a new petition, stickers and a banner at Saturday’s gala. Members are calling on Leeds City Council to reopen the facilities to give bored youngsters something to do during the summer break.

Splashback member Sally Cieslik said at last night’s meeting at Hillside:

“We need to call for the council to reopen our pool – the summer holidays are coming up and youngsters need something to do.”

The council closed the loss-making facilities last November following the opening of new leisure facilities in Morley and Armley.

Campaigners say it should reopen as other facilities are too far to travel to, are not easily reached by public transport and the having a more local facility will keep young people healthy, engaged and off the streets in an area of deprivation.

As revealed on South Leeds Life last week, Splashback have written an open letter to council leader Keith Wakefield calling for action on the centre. Wakefield told the YEP that the centre was in ‘mothballs’ at the moment but that the council was willing to speak to lcoal residents about its future.

Back in February Tiger 11, a community organisation working to regenerate Beeston and Holbeck, withdrew its proposals to take transfer of the South Leeds Sports Centre and run it as an independent community enterprise. The organisation had also hoped to refurbish the facilities but its plans were scuppered due to a lack of cash. More background can be found here.