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The artificial sports pitch at the Deepings Leisure Centre in Deeping St James has been permanently closed




An artificial sports pitch at a town leisure centre has been permanently closed.

The decision was made by South Kesteven District Council after three independent specialists assessed the condition of the pitch at the Deepings Leisure Centre and advised it had come to the end of its life.

Head of leisure at the council, Karen Whitfield, said: “The pitch is over 20 years old and not fit for purpose.

The council's artificial grass pitch in the Deepings can no longer be used by the community
The council's artificial grass pitch in the Deepings can no longer be used by the community

“As disappointing and frustrating as this is, the most important thing to ensure is that current users have a site that meets their needs, and that the council is confident that it is suitable for use.

“Regrettably we have taken the decision to close it. Our leisure team is now contacting schools and community organisations to assist clubs in finding alternative locations.”

With plans for a new leisure centre for The Deepings under way, the cost of replacing the existing pitch, around £200,000, was not considered a good use of public money, explained Karen.

The council's artificial grass pitch in the Deepings can no longer be used by the community
The council's artificial grass pitch in the Deepings can no longer be used by the community

“The council recognises that the current, dated leisure centre does not provide the standard and breadth of facilities that residents need and want, and that is why the council has pledged to build a new facility for the area,” she said.

South Kesteven District Council has identified a site for the new Deepings Leisure Centre on part of the playing fields on the corner of Linchfield Road and Spalding Road.

This is opposite The Deepings School, which up until now has used the artificial pitch at the current leisure centre.

The council's artificial grass pitch in the Deepings can no longer be used by the community
The council's artificial grass pitch in the Deepings can no longer be used by the community

Other users of the condemned artificial pitch are Deeping Rangers and Deeping United football clubs, as well as a football club from Spalding.

Staff at the district council have been trying to make arrangements for these teams to find new training grounds until the new facility is built.

Borderville Sports Centre in Stamford has artificial pitches which are operated by Stamford AFC, and these have some availability during the day and on Friday evenings.

There are also artificial pitches at the Bourne Leisure Centre site in Queen’s Road, at Arthur Mellows Village College in Glinton and at Stamford Junior School off Kettering Road.

While a site for Deepings Leisure Centre has been earmarked for the £15m rebuild, it will have to go through the usual planning application process.

In Stamford there is a question mark over whether a new council leisure facility would be built, or if the current site off Drift Road, which has a swimming pool and gym, will be reused.

Bourne Leisure Centre is to be refurbished at a cost of £5m.

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