Battle to save Leeds leisure centre rages on

South Leeds Sports Centre.
South Leeds Sports Centre.
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CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to keep up the fight to save a Leeds leisure centre.

In an open letter to Leeds City Council leader Keith Wakefield, action group Save our Pools and Sports Hall (Splash) said it would not give up on its bid to reopen South Leeds Sports Centre.

“We are not going to allow the centre to fall quietly off your radar now, or at any time in the future,” the letter said.

The sports centre, on Beeston Road in Beeston, was mothballed in November because of falling visitor numbers.

There have been talks with community development trust Tiger 11 about bringing it back into use, but the centre is currently standing empty.

Splash’s letter, also sent to Beeston and Holbeck councillor Adam Ogilvie, added: “We are worried that as time ticks by this may not be at the forefront of your agenda and are keen to ensure that the trail does not run cold.

“In your election statement of 2010, you were both keen to keep the sports centre open.

“We did note, however, that this wasn’t repeated in your 2011 statement which, as you are now the majority party within the council, we found surprising and disappointing.”

Campaigner Sally Cieslik said the centre was within walking distance for a lot of people and had been busy during summer holidays.

She added: “It seems a tragedy that it’s sitting there unused with another summer holiday fast approaching.”

Coun Wakefield said: “I have lived in Beeston, I know it’s an area of high deprivation and social need.

“I’ve always been quite sympathetic on the closure debate.

“As a council we have taken one of the biggest financial hits in the country and are having to save £90m, so it would be hard to promise that the centre will reopen.

“Its in mothballs at the moment, but we haven’t given up on it. We are prepared to talk to the community about all options.”

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