Council’s £8 million pledge for Meden

Warsop Meden Sports Centre

Warsop Meden Sports Centre

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More than £8 million has been set aside by councillors to build a new sports centre in Warsop.

It was agreed during Mansfield District Council’s budget meeting to pledge the cash for a ‘wet and dry’ facility, meaning a new swimming pool and gym.

Meden Sports Centre has come under close scrutiny recently after it was forced to temporarily close due to fire safety issues. It has since re-opened.

The issue was discussed at length during the budget meeting, and councillors voted to include the cash in the General Fund Capital Programme for the next three years.

Coun Paul Henshaw said: “It’s vitally important that we show a definite commitment to this project.

“We will send out a message to the residents of the district that we see the benefit of having first-class facilities.”

Coun Martin Lee added: “There’s a lot of work to do in terms of attracting funding, but unless we are committed as an authority, we are not going to be taken seriously by outside funders.”

There are hopes that county council-owned land adjacent to Meden Sports Centre, on Burns Lane, could potentially be utilised to build the new centre.

However, Coun Phil Shields, portfolio holder for the environment on Mansfield District Council, urged caution.

He voted in favour of the pledge, but said “It’s something that I’ve wanted for three-and-a-half years, I’m a Warsop lad, I’m on the parish council and committed to this, but the truth is we do not know how much it will cost, or if we will have to buy the land.

“What happens if we can’t get the grant funding? Will it mean tax payers across the whole district, not just in Warsop, have to pay for it to cover the cost of this £8 million?”

Coun Mick Colley added: “Eight million pounds is 22 per cent rise in council tax. Could we really justify asking people to pay that?”