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'Freebie' Sport Centre Demolished As No Takers Came Forward

Tuesday January 15 2013

A SPORTS centre that cost over £2 million was demolished - despite the fact that the council wanted to give it away.

The Kingstone School Sports Centre was built using lottery funding in 2006 but was no longer needed when the school closed.

The council was looking for a community group to take it over - but none came forward with a viable business plan.

Council leader Steve Houghton said: "We were prepared to give it away.

"We did not place a value on it, we did not want a penny for it, all we asked for was a viable business plan to show the sports centre could be run without costing the council any money.

"There was no asking price, in fact it would have cost us capital receipts of around £1milion to give it away.

"But that was a cost we were prepared to pay if the sports centre could have been run for the benefit of the local community without us losing money.

"That is what happened with the sports centre in Penistone, a local community group took it over and is running it at no cost to the council.

"But in the case of the Kingstone sports centre sadly no-one, not even Barnsley Premier Leisure, could run it without losing money.

"Everything that could have been done was done, but unfortunately even when we were prepared to give the sports centre away. no-one wanted it."

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Reply Posted by LV on Tuesday January 15 2013 at 14:01
I was wondering a couple of days ago what they were doing with it since it wasn't part of the school anymore... so it couldn't have been donated to a charity like shelter to help people on the streets? they're always saying they don't have the property space to help enough people.

Reply Posted by Mick on Tuesday January 15 2013 at 14:02
There seems to be a rather casual attitude to the loss of money just because it came from the lottery fund. This is still public money. Surely when the money was given it was expected to be used for more than 6 years. The council should have to reimburse the lottery fund.

Reply Posted by Andy on Tuesday January 15 2013 at 14:08
I agree with you Mick, money is still money no matter where it came from and with how hard it is to come by these days should be appreciated abit more as charitable organisations/ lotto fund will thick twice about how they hand it out.
Just because it wasn't built with the councils money doesn't mean its ok to knock it down. Maybe if it was there money they would have tried abit harder to save it. Another facility gone, SAD

Reply Posted by clare taylor on Tuesday January 15 2013 at 14:08
Why build it in first place.someone else could have had the money and made better use of it.

Reply Posted by bully on Tuesday January 15 2013 at 14:16
would have been good as a music venue for live bands and also music rehearsal rooms, what a waste

Reply Posted by alison on Tuesday January 15 2013 at 14:25
i think it would have been great to help young kids keep fit and make new friends shame its been knocked down and money down drain yet again

Reply Posted by caz on Tuesday January 15 2013 at 17:38
Perhaps if it had been given to someone like the salvation army they would have done something with it or any charity surely better than demollishing it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply Posted by Wen on Tuesday January 15 2013 at 18:17
Makes you think of the millions spent on the new Voluntary Action Building (The Core) not that many years ago!! what a waste!! The amount of charities that have closed in the last 5 years is ludicrous when so much money was spent re-housing Voluntary Action when they could have taken this building and it wouldnt have cost as much in overheads for them either!!! It really pains me that public money is being wasted - again! The it makes new AFTER it has been demolished??

Reply Posted by William Hirst on Tuesday January 15 2013 at 18:30
Has it already been demolished?

When was the opportunity given to people to come forward with a business plans?

I myself have bombarded the council last year with questions and emails regarding any possible help or advice etc. That they could offer to an individual trying to set up an Indoor skate park facility (which I have been trying to set up over the last year and am continuing to do so throughout 2013) which would have created a few jobs, Created somewhere for anyone to come along with a passion for skateboarding, BMXing, Scootering, Rollerblading, But not only that.. We are attempting to operate as a charitable organization which will have interaction with surrounding youth clubs, Schools etc. to provide lessons and such in the sports we would cater for and also give back to the community by hosting events, competitions and other functions..

And NOT ONCE was there ANY mention of this..

I am appalled to be honest, But what can I do besides continue on in my venture..

Reply Posted by Charles on Tuesday January 15 2013 at 19:01
William, I'll tell you what to do for starters. Make sure that you, your friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances vote for representatives of a party other than Labour. The sooner there is a change of colour in the Town Hall the better. The current lot certainly know how to waste our money.

Reply Posted by joanne greasley on Tuesday January 15 2013 at 20:02
We could have used this for our roller derby team and open it as a skate place in the mean time, I wish I knew about this. So angry!

Reply Posted by carl on Tuesday January 15 2013 at 20:45
you all think this is a waste of tax payers money what about the old counil building nr the market it was baught buy a partnership for redevelopment the partnership for development was closed by the government to save money now they want 10 million for it ??? why should tax payers pay for what they already paid for greed and stupidity go hand in hand

Reply Posted by tv_ted on Wednesday January 16 2013 at 00:36
This contradicts everything previously said by our Council's leade www.wearebarnsley.com/news/article/405. Can the council provide any evidence to back up claims this building was made available? Interestingly all the site was marked for mixed density housing (area BAR44) in the local development framework.

Reply Posted by Guesty Mcguest on Thursday January 17 2013 at 16:39
This is a load of rubbish steve houghton has been on record repeatedly saying that the land was to be sold, he even hid the fact from his fellow councillors in reports I for one never heard one thing on the sports hall been made available, they snuck in the diggers and knocked it down before giving anyone any chance to come forward. Just another couple of million in wastage by BMBC, they are shocking.

Reply Posted by Samantha on Friday January 18 2013 at 21:40
We have been looking for a nice big area to open up a big play area specifically for disabled children with a big soft play area and light and sound areas etc we did NOT know the building was available it would have been perfect considering green acres school is just around the corner!

Reply Posted by Caroline on Friday January 18 2013 at 22:12
Why didn't the advertise it here on We are Barnsley? I'm sure there would have been some very interesting and potentially lucrative business propositions put forward by budding entrepreneurs! Shame on you BMBC!

Reply Posted by casRed on Sunday February 24 2013 at 00:58
they ought to have left the sports centre as the last part of of the school complex to be demolished rather than the first, to give the council maximum time to find potential interested parties and possible reprieve. what was the rush to knock it down apart from it being a very visible elephant in the room.

Reply Posted by lotto on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 12:44
What was the rush to demolish this fantastic community facility as nothing seems to have happened on the site since. Also the nursery buildings are still there. The person or persons responsible should be made to answer to the national lottery for such a wasteful use of what was ultimately the publics money.