South Leeds Sports Centre campaigners prepare for Saturday protest

The June 2010 SPLASH protest march

South Leeds Life today received the following press release from the Splash campaigners fighting to get South Leeds Sports Centre reopened..

As campaigners fighting for the re-opening of South Leeds Sports Centre we are delighted that the government has now finally approved the plans to transform the Beeston Hill/Holbeck areas of our city.  This strengthens our case for the re-opening of the Sports Centre which is marked on plans on which the bid for funds was based. 

 The preferred bidders (Sustainable Communities for Leeds, or sc4L) have already been appointed so we are hoping that it won’t be long before Keith Wakefield and our local councillors are able to give the sports centre a chance to be updated and re-furbished and made available again to local residents.  With new draft guidance from the General Medical Council released today, advising that doctors “must support patients in caring for themselves and empower them to improve and maintain their health” it would be a travesty for the council to continue to keep the centre closed. 

 Splash campaigners are encouraged by this and with the go-ahead for improvements at sister facilities in Middleton:

 “We are pleased that work is going to start on refurbishing Middleton Sports Centre – but note that there will be no pool in the new Centre. All the more reason to make sure our Centre, which has a decent sized pool, reopens!” comments Phil Goodfield.

 This is particularly pertinent as the John Charles pool facilities, which the council argues is an alternative to Middleton and South Leeds Centre, is going to be largely dominated by visiting Olympic teams over the next year.

 “Our sports centre and pool are exactly what the expanding local community will need – local facilities to encourage healthy lifestyles in a lasting and sustainable way” says Sally Cieslik.

 “One of the reasons we came to live in Beeston was because there was a pool and sports centre nearby – we were devastated when it closed within weeks of us moving in” adds Alison Neale.

 SPLASH! hope that the Council respond positively to the Grant approval and that they are forward-thinking and dynamic enough to see the long-term and substantial benefits of re-opening and developing the Centre so that it serves the community for the rest of the 21st century.  We hope that a credible and sustainable business plan can be brokered now that the development of the area has been assured byWhitehall.

SPLASH! will be demonstrating outside the Sports Centre on Saturday 5 November 2011 at noon to mark the first anniversary of the Centre’s closure.  Anyone who wants to support the campaign is welcome to come along.