What future for the Deepings leisure center?

The future of Deeping Recreation Center is still on the line, but residents are working hard to raise their voices to save the center.

More than 8,000 people have now signed a petition set up by the residents of Deepings on August 6, to fight the move after residents said they had been ‘wronged’ and felt ‘betrayed by the curators of the South Kesteven district council ”.

They added that the move took away recreational facilities from thousands of residents of The Deepings and surrounding villages, putting the local population out of work, destroying the local swim club (which has more than 100 members), preventing schoolchildren to take swimming lessons and The Deepings school. without examination room.

Supporting the petition, residents said they demanded that ‘£ 1.4million be allocated for immediate repairs to the existing building and facilities, with a further £ 600,000 set aside for ongoing maintenance over the next four years ”.

They also want a public contract “whereby a new site is found (not Millfield Road) and agreed immediate plans and costs for a new recreation center which will open in early 2025 at the latest.”

It comes after South Kesteven District Council confirmed that the future of the center is uncertain after an investigation into building conditions highlighted the need for major repairs and repairs.

A temporary closure on July 27, due to a leaking roof following heavy rains, resulted in rapid deterioration of the building, including extensive roof damage, widespread water infiltration throughout the building, and lights. in the billiard room.

Regardless of the decision taken by city council, it is unlikely that the recreation center will be able to reopen until major repairs have been carried out to ensure the safety of staff and users.

A building condition survey estimates that more than £ 1.2million will need to be spent to get the center back into safe operation, including a complete replacement of the roof structure as well as the replacement of oil-fired boilers from origin, one of which was already beyond repair.

The report also confirmed the council’s desire to establish a new recreation center for the Deepings. The report recommends that council continue to explore a potential new site on Millfield Road, owned by Lincolnshire County Council, as part of a joint leisure residential development as part of the local plan update.

Meanwhile, an emergency meeting was organized by the South Kesteven District Council on August 17 to discuss the future of the Deepings Recreation Center.

A spokesperson for SKDC said councilors will all have a say in the future of Deepings Recreation Center after the cabinet decides the full council should be given a chance to vote on the issue.

An extraordinary district council meeting will be scheduled soon.

South Kesteven District Council Deputy Head and Cabinet Member for Recreation Councilor Barry Dobson said: “No councilor underestimates the significant impact the closure of the recreation center will have on the local community, clubs and groups, and the school that shares the use of the facility. Given the importance and urgency of the decision, we believe that all councilors should have the opportunity to vote on the recommendations made in the report.

“We know that any decision will not be taken lightly, but the serious health and safety issues of the building cannot be ignored.

“The building requires significant investments now and in the future, just to ensure its safety and that of all its users. Unfortunately, the board will need to determine if the building is safe, suitable and sustainable so that we can continue to run a recreation center on the site.

The report presented to the cabinet pointed out that the 47-year-old Deepings Leisure Center building required continuous preventive and reactive repairs throughout its life. Despite this, given its age, the building today shows significant signs of deterioration and is rapidly approaching the end of its operational life.

While the leisure center is managed by the South Kesteven District Council, the building and grounds are owned by Lincolnshire County Council.

If the District Council ceases to operate the recreation center in the current building, both councils will endeavor to ensure the continuation of outdoor recreation activities at the Linchfield Road playgrounds.

The Deepings School will also be supported to ensure it has a suitable venue for short-term physical education exams and classes, as the County Council works with The Anthem Trust on how best to restore an adapted school sports hall.

Opportunities will be explored to redeploy the six full-time, 22 part-time and casual employees of the Deepings Leisure Center to the three remaining LeisureSK centers.

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