September 25th, 2016

Standard investigates – Does Bromsgrove have enough sports hall provision?

Updated: 12:56 pm, Jan 30, 2016

FOLLOWING district council claims there will be enough sports hall provision in Bromsgrove after the demolition of the current Dolphin Centre, The Standard contacted other providers listed by the authority in a bid to find out if that would be the case.

We chose those in close proximity to the town centre – Bromsgrove School (BS), The Ryland Centre (RS) and the BAM venues North Bromsgrove High School (NBHS) and South Bromsgrove High School (SBHS) as others, for example in Hagley or Rubery, would be inaccessible to some, especially those without access to a car.

The results of the investigation depend on an agreement being struck between BAM and the council over the North and South Bromsgrove High sports halls being available. Discussions on that are ongoing.

Here is what we found:

With regard to off-peak daytime use, the Ryland Centre would be the only one available as the schools’ sports halls would be in use.

The Ryland Centre has 32 off-peak daytime hours available from Monday to Friday.

The sports halls at the two BAM venues and Bromsgrove School would, however, be available in the evenings when the Ryland Centre’s is ‘subject to availability’.

At weekends, North and South Bromsgrove High School’s halls would not be available, the Ryland Centre’s would be on Saturdays and Bromsgrove School’s on Saturdays and Sundays.

Next we asked about concessions:

Bromsgrove School was the only one out of the four which offered concessions – a ten per cent discount for students, the over 65s, the disabled and their carers and residents on some benefits.

The Dolphin Centre currently offers a 50 per cent discount to disabled users, their carers, over 65s, students and to those on particular benefits.

On the issue of membership, the Ryland Centre and Bromsgrove School were the only two out of the four, offering annual passes for £200 and £340 respectively, with the latter including access to badminton.

The current Dolphin Centre membership costs £300-per-year, which includes access to badminton during off-peak hours.

When it comes to hiring sports halls for five-a-side football, all four venues are available to hire, costing £32 per hour at BAM facilities – and £54 and £37 per hour respectively at Bromsgrove School and the Ryland Centre.

The Dolphin Centre’s charges are £47-per-hour for five-a-side football.

One issue facing people wanting to hire BAM’s sports halls is that they must have public liability insurance.

Access is also subject to approval from Worcestershire County Council, which can take up to three weeks.