Leisure centres in dire need of funds, says LGA

Holly Hill Leisure Centre Picture: Sarah Standing (161401-4177)
Holly Hill Leisure Centre Picture: Sarah Standing (161401-4177)

South Central Ambulance Service holding forum event

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LEISURE centres are at risk of falling into a state of disrepair unless central government coughs up funds.

That’s the view of the Local Government Association (LGA) which says the majority of council-owned sports halls and swimming pools are at risk of becoming ‘old and tired’ unless they are given a council injection.

The LGA warns that unless the government commits to a boost in funds during next month’s budget, it could cost a total of £1.5bn in a few years to repair England’s leisure centres.

Portsmouth City Council owns the city’s leisure centres, Fareham Borough Council owns Holly Hill Leisure Centre and Gosport Borough Council owns Gosport Leisure Centre, although all are managed by private companies.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, opposition leader in Portsmouth and chairman of the LGA’s culture board, said: ‘Leisure facilities are the cornerstone of a physically and mentally healthy community and are used by thousands of families every day. They get people active and keep them fit and healthy.’

The Treasury did not wish to speculate on what would be announced in the autumn budget.