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South Kesteven District Council will consider plans to invest in Deepings Leisure Centre building at meeting

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A leisure centre may have a brighter future than expected as an investment could save the facility from permanent closure.

All members of South Kesteven District Council have been called to an extraordinary meeting tomorrow (September 2) to decide the future of the Deepings Leisure Centre, which has been closed since July because of a leaky roof.

Earlier this month, members of the cabinet endorsed a report which recommended the leisure centre never reopens because of the “significant risk to the health and safety of the staff and customers”.

Deepings Leisure Centre. Photo: David Pearson
Deepings Leisure Centre. Photo: David Pearson

The cabinet said the cost of reopening the centre will run to £1.2m with the cost of repairing the roof £684,451, which both Lincolnshire County Council, which owns the building, and South Kesteven District Council previously agreed wouldn't make financial sense.

However, tomorrow councillors will consider the findings of an initial assessment which suggests an investment of about £6.3m could bring the current leisure centre up to a good standard and extend the life of the leisure centre for 25 years – saving the popular 47-year-old building from the prospect of permanent closure.

After receiving the views of the community and their desire to retain the existing leisure centre building for future generations, South Kesteven District Council commissioned an expert opinion on the findings of the building condition survey provided by Lincolnshire County Council to identify ways to improve and extend the life of building.

The initial assessment made by Paul Weston Architects, who worked on the refurbishment of the leisure centre in North Hykeham, and Chartered Quantity Surveyors Caston Cost Consultants estimates that an investment of around £6.3million could improve the facility and secure good standard leisure provision in the Deepings for 25 years.

Leader of South Kesteven District Council, councillor Kelham Cooke (Con - Casewick), said: “We have listened carefully to the many stories and messages from members of the public about how fond they are of the existing centre and how much it continues to mean to them.

"I too have fond memories of swimming there in my younger years and closing the leisure centre is the very last thing we want to do.

“Since receiving the damning condition survey, we have commissioned an expert opinion on how we might be able to not only repair the faults, but completely renovate the building – securing a good and improved leisure centre in the Deepings as quickly as possible and for many years to come, and retaining the building that means so much to the community.

“I am hopeful that this option will provide the best way forward for the local community and look forward to discussing this with councillors tomorrow.”

The supplementary information confirms that a further full structural survey would be required to determine the final scope of work and budget required.

The leisure centre is likely to remain closed for some time while any further investigations or renovations are completed.

The district council will also need to negotiate agreements with Lincolnshire County Council and The Anthem Trust to protect any investment made.

Visit stamfordmercury.co.uk for a report following the meeting.

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