We’ll fight for leisure centre, says city leader

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THE LEADER of Portsmouth City Council says the council will do everything it can to keep Southsea’s Pyramids Centre open.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said there was no plan to close the centre in Clarence Esplanade despite cash-flow problems faced by the firm which runs it.

As reported in The News, Southsea Community Leisure Ltd has asked the council to step in to help it meet loan payments over the next 14 months after running into cash flow problems.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘We have no intention of letting it close.

‘The full council will discuss what happens in relation to Southsea Community Leisure Ltd, but the Pyramids is a good facility, and the refurbishment work which has recently been done there is excellent.

‘We will do all we can to make sure it continues to run.’

The plea by SCL will be discussed at the next full council meeting on Tuesday.

Possibilities to be discussed are to make a loan of almost £400,000, refuse to make the loan and leave SCL Ltd in charge, remove SCL and set up a new trust to run the centre, or for the council to run the centre itself.

n An article in The News on Thursday quoted Cllr Vernon-Jackson as saying the council would not pay the loan to SCL.

We would like to clarify that he actually said the loan would not be made without a decision by the full council to do so.