ANTI-CUTS campaigners have called for the Albion Leisure Centre to be opened up on evenings and weekends for the community to use.
The leisure centre was closed in 2008 and since then a definite future for the building has never been announced.
It is currently used by the Erewash branch of the Citizens Advice Bureau but the organisation only use parts of the otherwise disused centre.
Liz Potter, member of the Derbyshire Anti-Cuts Campaign, said: “It is such a shame to see such a useful building standing virtually empty.
“With all the facilities it had in there when it was a leisure centre, showers, kitchen, a massive sports hall and other rooms, it could be put to such valuable use now.”
Liz has gained the backing for her idea from Labour councillors.
She added: “Today in Ilkeston, there are more and more families who are living on the breadline and struggling to put food on the table as they suffer redundancy, wage freezes and rising prices for bills, petrol and rent.
“For people on low incomes, a sudden crisis like an unexpected bill, loss of their job or just a price increase can mean going hungry or skipping meals to feed their children. People are forced to choose between paying the rent, eating, or even having a shower as they try to economise on using their gas, electric and water.
“Could we not open up the Albion Centre as a drop-in centre where the most needy in our communities could get a bit of support, maybe have a shower, have a meal, or get short term help if they are in a crisis?”
Ian Sankey, director of resources at Erewash Borough Council, said: “We are always more than happy to listen to positive ideas for the use of Albion Leisure Centre and discuss these with interested parties - but they must be viable proposals that can be supported with a good business case.”