District council offers £124,000 lifeline to Deeping Leisure Centre

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The district council has pledged to step in to fill a shortfall of funding which may have threatened the existence of a popular leisure centre.

For more than 30 years Deeping Leisure Centre in Park Road, Deepings St James, has received a grant from Lincolnshire County Council of £124,000 to be able to provide swimming facilities for local school children.

The county council’s agreement comes to an end in March 2014 and as part of its budget cuts it has decided not to extend the funding.

With the leisure centre facing a funding black hole district councillors Phil Dilks and Judy Stevens, representing Deeping St James, have been working behind the scenes to find a solution.

Yesterday a spokesman for South Kesteven District Council said: “We are disappointed that the county council is withdrawing funding but our commitment to sport and leisure throughout the district remains very strong and we will meet the shortfall until the end of the contract with our leisure providers in 2016.”

The district council currently pays £262,000 towards the running of the facility and Leisure Connection, which runs the centre, also contributes some funding.

Councillors have been jointly working behind the scenes for the last 18 months to help find a way of keeping the centre open.

Coun Dilks said: “It is really good news that the district council has picked up the slack from the county council.

“There is no doubt the district council were placed in a difficult position because £120,000 is a lot of money for them to find.

“If the district council hadn’t of stepped in there is no doubt that closure was a serious option, which would have been a real blow to the people of the Deepings.

“I want to say thank you to the officers at South Kesteven who have worked hard to find a solution.”

Deepings Leisure Centre has a 25m swimming pool, a learner pool, sports hall, squash courts, football pitches, floodlit all weather pitch and a fitness suit.