“It’s really disappointing that the Council are once again clouding this issue with their recent statement and frankly I’m absolutely bewildered by their statement that they saw no value for the community. It’s important that the people in South Leeds are given the full facts here.
“We have answered every single one of the points they raised, both verbally, at meetings, and in writing from day one. I would also point out that the proposal is from Hunslet RLFC, in partnership with Advantage42 and their investors; Community Einstein. Our club has been involved in every discussion and meeting relating to this proposal and as such any agreement would still involve Hunslet RLFC.
“To be absolutely clear, Advantage42, on behalf of Community Einstein, initially approached the Council (in July 2021) to see if they could bring social investment into the city. Once Hunslet RLFC were made aware of that approach we engaged with them both directly. We wanted to pursue the option of linking together the provision of social investment into the South Leeds community with an opportunity to provide significant investment into South Leeds Stadium, and other elements of the JCCS site, to provide much needed upgrade and improvement. In fact that requirement has been brought into stark reality recently with the 1g football pitch now condemned and two separate arson attacks on the 5-a-side courts.
“I’m pleased to say though that both Advantage42 and Community Einstein bought into our vision and saw it as a really exciting proposition. Hunslet’s consequent proposal to the Council asked for draft Heads of Terms to be established followed by a period of exclusivity that would allow the finer details of an agreement to be discussed, understood and agreed. This approach would have allowed both parties the time and space to sit down, identify and work together to address all concerns to the satisfaction of both parties and the local community.
“The Council have simply not been willing to properly engage, choosing instead to focus more on our “unsolicited approach” rather than the opportunity to deliver real benefit to a community in need. That said, our position hasn’t changed, and we are still more than happy to get around the table and enter into negotiations to ensure that the South Leeds community does not miss this fantastic opportunity, especially in respect of the £2.7m social investment for our community that is ring fenced within the proposal. Given their decision, and years of inactivity and neglect, for the Council to now say that it “… remains committed to the longer-term future of the facility and will be considering how future investment into the facility can be facilitated.” is simply bizarre. They already have an offer on the table and we are ready to do a deal. For the sake of the local community let’s just get on with it!”