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Camelford Leisure Centre Handed to Town
7:00am 13th December 2012
After a two year campaign to stave off closure a Cornish town is taking control of its leisure centre.
Camelford Leisure Centre is officially being handed over to a group of locals later.
The Council wanted to save money by shutting it down but agreed to continue help funding it for a limited period so the community could take charge.
It is planned that the pool will temporarily close for the rest of December for maintenance works and to allow small structural changes to be made but it is hoped that the sports hall will remain open throughout this period.
The centre will relaunch early in the New Year.
Dave Ferrett, Chair of the Friends of Camelford Leisure Centre, said: "It has been a long and arduous journey to secure the Leisure Centre for the community and we must now concentrate on ensuring the future of it."
Mayor Rob Rotchell said: "This is great news for the people of Camelford and the surrounding area. It is the culmination of two years hard work by a small group of local people and staff from Cornwall Council. We are grateful for the help we have been given and look forward to developing this vital local resource."
It had been feared that local children would have nowhere to learn how to swim if the centre had shut, but now its future appears to be secure - for now at least.
But officials are warning that they will need help from people in the town to keep it viable.
Neil Burden, the Council’s portfolio holder for Children’s Services, said: "This outcome after many concerns has turned into a real success story and highlights how local communities and Cornwall Council can work together to secure local services in a challenging financial environment. Part of the funding is coming from Children’s Services which is guaranteeing £30,000 a year for the next two years. I am delighted that we have been able to provide financial support to secure the future of the centre and ensure these local facilities are retained for the wider community use and continued access to the pool for the local schools in the area.”
Representatives of the Industrial & Provident Society (IPS), who will take on the management of the centre, said: "The Directors of the IPS are delighted that the community has managed to come together and take-over Camelford Leisure Centre ensuring its continuing availability as a sporting and recreational facility for the whole area.
“We now hope that the community will support the IPS by becoming members either as users or supporters and more details of these schemes will be available shortly. The IPS and the new staff will work with the community to increase usage and make the Centre one this area is proud of and answers to their needs.”
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