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Lincolnshire County Council offers to transfer Deepings Leisure Centre to South Kesteven District Council





County council bosses have offered to transfer the ownership of the closed Deepings Leisure Centre to help ‘meet the aspirations of the local community’ – and reduce its costs for maintaining the building.

Lincolnshire County Council leader Coun Martin Hill says he has written to South Kesteven District Council to offer to transfer the freehold of the leisure centre, which has been closed for more than two years due to safety concerns caused by a leaky roof.

After agreeing to refurbish it, South Kesteven District Council ditched plans to spend £10.7 million on repairs to the leisure centre in Deeping St James claiming they could not afford it and handed responsibility back to owner Lincolnshire County Council.

The swimming pool is gathering water. Photo: Lambert Smith Hampton estate agents
The swimming pool is gathering water. Photo: Lambert Smith Hampton estate agents

In a bid to find a business or group to run the leisure centre, Lincolnshire County Council put it up for sale. However, if a buyer – who adheres to the conditions set out by the council - is not found by the summer the it could be demolished, and the land transferred to the Anthem Schools Trust, which runs the Deepings School.

The Save the Deepings Leisure Centre group, which was set up by residents wanting the site to be refurbished and reopened, has submitted an offer to save the leisure and has called on South Kesteven District Council for one-off funding of £850,000.

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Coun Hill, who represents Folkingham, said: “Like the district council, we would like to see Deepings Leisure Centre remain within the community. We’ve received a business case from a local community group that is interested in taking it on, but a number of questions remain about the viability of their proposals.

Coun Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council
Coun Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council

“In particular, there are concerns about what would happen to the site should the community group’s plans fail at some point. We’ve given the group further time to address these concerns, but, as we’ve made clear previously, the county council is unwilling to take on the financial liabilities and safety risks that would arise if the building were to remain empty for a prolonged period of time.

“A possible solution is to transfer ownership of the site to the district council. This would allow SKDC to broker a deal that can meet the aspirations of the local community, while minimising any potential impact on the neighbouring school. It would also mean that the county council is not liable for any costs associated with maintaining or demolishing the building should the leisure centre proposals fail at any time.

“We have written to the district council about this potential transfer, which could also open the way to a financial contribution, and now await their response.”

Deepings Leisure Centre campaigners Coun Phil Dilks, Sam Peeroo, Andy Pelling, Paul Swift, Donna Buckland, Roy and Sue Stephenson and Coun Ashley Baxter outside the closed Deepings Leisure Centre. Photo: David Pearson
Deepings Leisure Centre campaigners Coun Phil Dilks, Sam Peeroo, Andy Pelling, Paul Swift, Donna Buckland, Roy and Sue Stephenson and Coun Ashley Baxter outside the closed Deepings Leisure Centre. Photo: David Pearson

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