The future of Stocksbridge Community Leisure Centre (SCLC) has been officially secured, after being awarded a 25-year lease from Sheffield City Council.
A campaign was launched to save it from being closed after residents formed a community trust, called ‘4SLC’ For Stocksbridge Leisure Centre, whose seven-strong board now runs the complex.
The facility is fondly regarded as a ‘treasured community asset’ and after a tireless effort to save the premises, it is now a registered charity.
Council funding cuts forced the leisure centre to close its doors in April 2013. But the facility has reopened after volunteers worked round-the-clock to refurbish it. A 25-year lease, brokered by hlw Keeble Hawson, has just been transferred from the council to the trust.
Fay Howard, a member of SCLC’s board of trustees, said: “The support we’ve received to date has been tremendous and taking on the lease, thanks to Sheffield City Council, will enable future generations to enjoy the centre’s wealth of facilities.”
Campaigners first sprung into action after council funding cuts meant the forced closure of the leisure centre, in a bid to save the £400,000 annual subsidy. Since then, the facility has undergone a major refurbishment after residents undertook more than 2000 hours of voluntary work. They were helped by council funding and donations from businesses.
In February 2015, the refurbished ‘learner pool’ reopened and an official relaunch ceremony was conducted by Stocksbridge mayor, Jack Clarkson, on June 21.
Directors and trustees are now working on plans to reopen the ‘big pool’. Ongoing initiatives to boost funds include sponsoring a brick, where individuals can donate £20 for a plaque on a dedicated open brick wall and companies can contribute £150 for corporate sponsorship. The aim is to raise £100,000 towards the purchase of new biomass boilers. A celebratory family fun day is to be held at SCLC on August 28 at the Moorland Drive venue in Stocksbridge from 10am to 3pm. To volunteer contact call 0114 288 3792.