The refurbishment and redevelopment of Kidsgrove Sports Centre has received a welcome funding boost from the government’s Town Deal Fund, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has confirmed.
The community sports facility will receive a guaranteed £2.45m towards the final overall refurbishment cost of £7.5m and this will allow the council’s Cabinet to push the button on the long-awaited improvements.
The funding for the refurbishment, which is making steady progress, has come from a range of sources, with the Borough Council providing the lion’s share. Other contributions include Staffordshire County Council, Sport England and Town Deal Advance Funds, as well as the newly approved £2,450,000. More than a million pounds has been spent on the project so far.
The Leader of the Borough Council, Simon Tagg, said: “Kidsgrove Sports Centre is one of the Council’s top priorities. It is wonderful news that the government has agreed to fund the facility with nearly two and a half million pounds from the Towns Deal Fund. This is yet another measure of the Government’s confidence in what we are trying to achieve right across the borough.
“The community group has achieved a great deal so far, and are committed to the future success of the centre, and there is a very capable board of trustees in place. The Council will continue to be involved with the centre and that we will need to provide financial support during the ‘start-up’ years. We have already built that into our financial planning.
“The project has moved at quite some speed and it’s amazing to think that the project will be finished, with the centre up and running this time next year.”
The lease for the sports centre has been issued to the community group. It is expected that during the first five years of operation the community group will require up to £480,000 of revenue support from the Council.
A new agreement will also see the Community Group and The Kings Academy sharing facilities and will appoint a facilities manager to cover both sites in due course.
A spokesperson from the Community Group said: “It is fantastic news that the government, via the Town Deal fund, is backing this vitally important community asset. It is very reassuring that as part of the process, economists have reviewed the business case and agree that both the economic and social cases add up to a viable, important asset which will inspire and rejuvenate the community.”
Newcastle’s Cabinet will discuss an updated report at their meeting on 9 June which also includes a decision on the awarding of the contract for the works to Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd.
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