Outrage over closure of Eastwood Community Sports Centre

Eastwood Community Sports Centre due to close.
Eastwood Community Sports Centre due to close.

Sports groups are outraged after the Eastwood Community Sports Centre announced last week it will close early in the new year.

Broxtowe Borough Council sent a letter to clubs and members on December 8 explaining that they would be handing over the management of the club to the school on December 23.

The letter stated that this was due to the conversion of Eastwood Comprehensive School to Hall Park Academy which brought about the end of their Community Use Agreement, as decided in a cabinet meeting in September.

This decision leaves the sports clubs which currently use the centre homeless and desperate to find new venues for practise.

James Shipley, club secretary of Eastwood Antz Basketball Club which uses Eastwood Community Sports Centre as its training and home venue, said they would now have to pay more for worse facilities.

He added: “We have been made homeless and it’s not right. It’s just the perfect venue for us and it’s just been thrown away. It feels like the council are using the school’s conversion to an academy as an excuse to pull out.”

Jo Jones, owner of PKA Kickboxing which also uses the centre, said it had been difficult to find somewhere for her 40 members to practise.

She added: “They have been one of the best leisure centres we have ever had and it’s just a complete injustice to the area . The next thing they’ll be talking about is childhood obesity and kids hanging around on the streets with nothing to do.”

Ashley Marriott, Head of Leisure and Culture at Broxtowe Borough Council said: “The Redhill Academy will have to decide whether it wishes to continue to provide community access to the sports facilities as they have a responsibility to Sport England under the novated agreement for the financial contribution to the building.

“The Council is working with local clubs and other users who have all been advised of the change and offered options at other leisure centres including Kimberley when possible.”

Andrew Burns, Executive Principal of Redhill Academy Trust which includes Hall Park Academy, said that they are doing everything they can to keep the facilities open and had asked Broxtowe Borough Council to reconsider their decision.

He added: When the school converted to an academy we readily agreed that the facilities could continue to be used out of school hours exactly as they presently are.

“However, it seems that Broxtowe Borough Council have now said they will withdraw their community service at the site from the end of this month.

“We have not got the finance, staffing or resources to offer a full community sports service of the type normally provided by a local council.”

At a club meeting on Wednesday December 10, Hall park Academy said they would try to keep the centre open until the end of February to allow clubs more time to find new venues.