Sports Hall No Longer in Leisure Centre Plans

On the front page of today’s  Express is a story about the sports hall having been deleted from the proposed new leisure centre. Something we were aware of of course but good that it is being discussed more publicly. Shepway are quoted as saying that that the design of the leisure centre has tried to balance a number of issues including ensuring long term financial sustainability. But the papers for the cabinet meeting on 7th Feb 2017 were clear that a viability assessment had not yet been done. In any case, the argument for a leisure centre rather than just a swimming pool has always been that a swimming pool on its own wouldn’t make money. But Shepway have not yet proved that the leisure centre will make money with or without the sports hall – especially given that being on the coast it will have a restricted catchment area compared to an equivalent inland facility. At the exhibition in November we were told that the sports hall was taken out of the plans because there are already sufficient sports halls in Folkestone. That’s true but is it not also true that there are already lots of affordable gym stations in Shepway? So is there really a need for a fitness centre in the proposed new leisure centre?