South Kesteven District Council has unveiled the exisiting playing fields at Deepings School as the preferred site for a new leisure centre. The site is already the home of Deepings Rugby Club, Deeping United FC, the Deepings Rotary 10k and is used for a number of other competitive sports activities. In just two years time, it might also be home to a brand new swimming pool, all weather pitches and everything else one might expect of a modern ‘wet and dry’ leisure centre.
As you may have read, Cllr Matthew Lee (Con) announced in October 2017, and several times since then, that SKDC is planning to build a new Leisure Centre for the Deepings. This will replace the existing Leisure Centre which is well passed its sell by date and is literally falling apart at the seams with water often literally leaking through the roof above the pool area after heavy rainfall.
I have asked about progress towards the Leisure Centre at almost every appropriate opportunity since the announcement (and some might say at some inappropriate opportunities too!). This has included Cabinet meetings and Council meetings. I have asked less often since the election of Virginia Moran who has also taken up the mantle by asking similar questions.
Yesterday, at Full Council, I am pleased to say that my question finally got a meaningful answer. Here is a transcript of part of the statement read out by Cllr Helen Goral (Con). I should say that I am thankful to Cllr Goral for making the effort to communicate with Deepings Councillors, in confidence, slightly ahead of the announcement. This seems like real progress towards the new ‘collaborative working’ promised by the new Leader of the Conservative group, Cllr Kelham Cooke (Con).
“We announced that we intend to build a new facility in the Deepings and this is very much still the case; one which actively improves and compliments the active sports community that the Deepings are rightly proud of. As you know we have been in negotiations with various landowners to secure an appropriate site and I am pleased to announced to Members today that we have identified the existing playing fields [at the Deepings School] as the site for in depth feasibility and community consultation over the coming months.
“This site offers a great opportunity to consolidate all the local leisure and sporting endeavours in one mutually supportive location. These plans will, of course, be subject to planning and highways approval, however we anticipate the delivery of this key site within two years from when the site is secured, pending the engagement and support of the aforementioned stakeholders. There is much community engagement work to be done in order to progress this site, however initial meetings are already scheduled and I will, of course, advise and keep you updated on progress and delivery.”
Cllr Goral also gave updates regarding the leisure centre upgrades at Stamford, Bourne and Grantham. If you want to know what she said about those you will need to let me know by ‘like’ or comment on this post.
As ever, I will also try to keep you up to date with progress as far as I am able. An official letter should go out from SKDC to schools and sports clubs very soon and a new Head of Leisure starts next week.
If you have comments, suggestions or concerns about the impact of the new Leisure Centre you can contact me or, if you prefer, e-mail SKDC officers directly using firstname.lastname@example.org