Huthwaite residents bid to take over their threatened leisure centre

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Huthwaite’s under threat leisure Centre could be taken over by the community under an ambitious plan revealed today.

Huthwaite residents and local councillors have held discussions with Ashfield district Council in relation to taking over the centre for the community.

Councillor Lee Anderson said: “We have been in early discussions with Ashfield District Council and things are looking very promising.

“The plan is to keep all existing services and staffing will be a combination of paid staff and volunteers.

“The council is really up for it and I have not had one person complain about the idea.

“Lots of people have told me they are prepared to volunteer and are coming forward to do it.

“We have done all the maths and we are now in the process of becoming a charity.”

Ashfield District Council recently announced it was reviewing the future of he facilities at Festival Hall, Selston, Huthwaite and Edgewood in a five-year ‘transformation programme” after the authority identified them as ‘less well performing’.

The authority is in the process of collating residents responses during a consultation period.

A team of councillors and residents went on a fact finding visit to Stocksbridge near Sheffield, where residents took over their own leisure centre and have been successful in running it.

The Stocksbridge leisure centre now has hundreds of volunteers, two swimming pools and a sports hall.

Coun anderson added: “The leisure centre has a place close to my heart.

“We can’t let it close -that is why the community has come together.”