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Alderney needs £2m to build leisure centre

Posted Thu 22nd April 2010 at 15:54

Alderney's proposed leisure centre will be built as soon as £2 million has been raised.

More than £300,000 has already been pledged, while planning permission for the York Hill facility has been passed by members of the Building and Development Control Committee.

The 15,000sq ft facility will contain a multi-purpose sports hall, swimming pool, squash court, gymnasium, bowling alley, cafeteria and dance studio, as well as changing facilities and steam and sauna rooms.

At a public open day on Wednesday members of Alderney Community Sports and Health Charitable Trust unveiled detailed plans and explained how the centre will be run.

Speaking at the Island Hall event, trustee David Stanley said: "Today's about giving the people of Alderney a chance to see what the plans are. It is also an opportunity for people to let us know what their views are and give them the opportunity to ask questions."

Mr Stanley said it was important the public was kept informed while the funding is ongoing.

"We need to complete our fundraising activities, but see this as an important step. We've been in limbo for the last 18 months due to the global financial crisis but we think the time is right to move forward again."

Mr Stanley outlined the current financial position.

"About £2m needs to be raised. We've got £300,000 in cash and pledges, which is a good start. We will be approaching individuals and organisations in the coming weeks and months.

"Our plan is to build the centre as soon as possible. The idea is to have everything in place so we're ready to go the moment the money is raised."

An agreement with UK-based health club operators Bladerunner means the facility will be operated independently of the Trust once it is built.

Trustee Paul Clark explained the business arrangement.

He said: "Bladerunner operates 90 facilities throughout the UK. They have been to Alderney to assess the community and look at the demographics.

"Once the centre is built Bladerunner will run it. Any profit over a certain amount will be split between Bladerunner and the Trust."

Mr Stanley added: "There are excellent examples of how this can work in a small community. Up in the Shetland Islands a leisure centre has been a resounding success and we see no reason why one couldn't be a success here."

Anyone interested in contributing to the leisure centre fund should email AlderneyCSC@cwgsy.net

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