THE SITE of the new Bromsgrove Sports and Leisure centre could have its own sports hall after all, The Standard can reveal.
The revelation comes just days before the centre is set to officially open.
Bromsgrove District Council leader Coun Geoff Denaro confirmed today (Thursday) councillors were currently ‘looking at all the options’ after it became apparent the intended hall would not be available as much as first thought.
The council was close to a deal with BAM – the company which provides North Bromsgrove High School’s sports hall.
But due to changes in the curriculum, which has made subjects more exam-based, the school will now require the hall for up to 12 weeks of the year.
Coun Denaro said it was unfortunate this had happened at such a late stage but was beyond their control.
“We’ve said throughout we wanted a sports hall but were unable to justify building a brand new one effectively just for daytime use, when there were already a full size sports hall next door at the school that was available on evenings and weekends.
“Unfortunately that availability has now changed to be for just nine months of the year. We’re not sure that would be good enough, and residents may expect a better level of sports hall provision.
“We are currently looking at all of the options, for example, whether we can refurbish the hall or build another one but we will have to look at the costs.”
Coun Peter Whittaker, the portfolio holder for leisure, added: “The key thing as we consider our options will be to propose a really compelling new leisure offer for any new sports hall facility, so it can be viable.
“It would have to stack up, and then it could complement the excellent facilities the people are about to experience at the brand new Bromsgrove Sports and Leisure Centre.”
Claiming the community has been misled by the council, Luke Mallet, Leader of Bromsgrove Labour Group, said: “I cannot believe that with days before the new leisure centre opens it is discovered that the deal to provide alternative sports hall space is on the rocks.
“The alternative sports hall deal was never viable, the old sports hall must be reopened immediately and serious questions must be asked about the viability of the whole financial business case for this project.
“Yet again the public will pick up the bill for the failure of Bromsgrove District Council if only they had listened to the Save Our Sports Hall group in the first place.”
Bromsgrove Sports and Leisure Centre, which cost £13.7million to build, is due to open on Monday, November 27.