Kimberley councillor claims leisure centre is still ‘destined for closure’

Claims have been made that Kimberley Leisure Centre is ‘destined for closure’ despite an agreement being made on its immediate future.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 11:01 am
Kimberley Leisure Centre

Last month, the Advertiser reported that an agreement had been made between Broxtowe Borough Council and East Midlands Education Trust (EMET) over the future of the long-standing venue, which is on the site of Kimberley School, for at least a year.

However, councillors from Broxtowe Borough Council’s Conservative group have claimed the centre is destined for closure under the present administration as they are refusing to enter into further negotiations with EMET, which owns the site, to ensure a long-term future.

Coun Shane Easom, who represents Kimberley on the borough council and is a director of L Leisure, which operates the centre, said: “No negotiations have taken place with the Trust to secure the long-term future of the centre, which is so important to the residents of Kimberley and its immediate surrounds.

“At a time when our Member of Parliament is sponsoring a levelling up fund bid to enhance the future viability of Kimberley, the borough council is seeking to close the centre by refusing to engage with the school.”

County councillor Philip Owen, who represents Kimberley at Nottinghamshire County Council, added: “Shane is completely right in what he is saying.

“The closure, by stealth, of the centre will not only rob residents of a valuable facility but it will also be a loss to the young people who attend the school because school budgets are not designed to support leisure facilities of the sort that we have at the centre.

“A joint use approach makes complete sense but it requires the active participation of both sides and Broxtowe Borough Council are not engaged.

“The two sides need to come together and move progress to save the centre.”

In a previous joint statement, Coun Milan Radulovic, Coun Steve Carr and Rob McDonough, EMET’s chief executive, said they were pleased negotiations had concluded positively.

But both the trust and the council declined to comment further on Coun Easom’s claims when contacted by the Advertiser.