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Deepings Leisure Centre receives ‘huge support’ to reopen

Deepings Leisure Centre has received “huge community support” to reopen since the building was listed for sale. The leisure centre was temporarily closed in 2021 due to health and safety closure, which led to a permanent closure when a £10.5 million refurbishment was scrapped.

The leisure centre, which was handed back to Lincolnshire County Council (LCC), is now listed on Lambert, Smith and Hampton’s estate agents’ website and shows the current state of the site. LCC is now inviting expressions of interest to purchase the freehold before September 22, 2023.

The Deepings Leisure Centre Community Group (DLCCG) is hoping to make a bid and reopen it as a community asset, with the site located within The Deepings School grounds. LCC has already received an email of interest.

Read more: Pictures show inside empty Deepings Leisure Centre which will be demolished if no buyer found



Deepings Leisure Centre
Deepings Leisure Centre

Councillor Richard Butroid, LCC’s portfolio holder for property, said: “We’ve already had one email saying that there will be a bidding from the group that’s interested to run the leisure centre. The council aims to separate the leisure centre from the school, subject to Department for Education approval, and hand it over to a third party.

“We recognise the importance to have a leisure centre in the community for the health benefits, mental health benefits and everything else.” He said that the group could probably source work done cheaper than the county council, but cautioned that they haven’t seen the actual bid yet.

The Chair of the DLCCG Virginia Moran expressed that the group is “vitally important and have been the driving force behind plans to re-open.” Moran, also an Independent councillor on South Kesteven District Council, mentioned that their plan includes a partnership with a professional company running several leisure facilities.



Deepings Leisure Centre
Deepings Leisure Centre

She said: “This is on a not-for-profit basis, which in our view ensures reasonable fees are charged. We would retain the building as a community asset. We have huge community support.”

SKDC Independent Councillor Phil Dilks believes the building is retrievable and urges quick action. He said: “We are hoping that the county is going to make a conscious substantial contribution.”

Both the council and the community group acknowledge the high costs associated with necessary repairs. Councillor Moran believes the centre is financially viable and the actual costs are nowhere near the £10m previously quoted by SKDC.

The idea of shared usage with The Deepings School is also on the table. Councillor Moran said: “We have known of the school’s requirements from the beginning and intend to provide the school with all and any facilities it requires.”

Both the council and the community group are now preparing their next moves. It is not known exactly how much it would cost the council to demolish the centre if no buyer is found.

The listing also specifies that plans should not interfere with the running of The Deepings School and encourages potential shared use with the school. The property was removed from the rating list on January 1, 2021, with a rateable value of £157,000 at that time.

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