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Lincolnshire County Council offers Deepings Leisure Centre to community group for £1

The green light has been given for community campaigners to buy a leisure centre for £1.

Lincolnshire County Council’s executive today (Wednesday, May 8) unanimously approved to transfer the ownership of the Deepings Leisure Centre to a community group.

They also approved funding of £850,000 which, along with a sum of the same amount from South Kesteven District Council, will go towards the cost of refurbishment and reopening the closed facility in Deeping St James.

Campaigners hoping to reopen Deepings Leisure Centre
Campaigners hoping to reopen Deepings Leisure Centre

At the meeting, leader of Lincolnshire County Council Martin Hill (Con) said: “There are a number of hoops left to get through but it is positive so far.”

The Deepings Leisure Centre closed in August 2021 due to serious safety concerns caused by a leaky roof and has stood empty ever since.

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 and handed the lease back to owner Lincolnshire County Council, which put it up for sale.

Deepings Leisure Centre. Photo: David Pearson
Deepings Leisure Centre. Photo: David Pearson

Almost immediately after its initial closure was announced, The Save the Deepings Leisure Centre group was set up by residents determined to see the site refurbished and reopened.

Coun Phil Dilks (Ind), who is one of the campaigners, paid tribute to the ‘absolute determination’ from the community and explained the council’s decision would be welcomed.

Before the final deal is done, campaigners must provide a viable business case to the county council and an agreement must be reached with the neighbouring Deepings School.

According to Coun Hill ‘very positive meetings’ have been held, including with the school which is under new management.

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