Many of you will have seen over recent days, reports that Kimberley Leisure Centre is rumoured to close. Since first being elected there have been discussions about the Leisure Centre potentially closing. This is something I have closely monitored over the years and have held countless meetings with stakeholders to find a solution for the long term, unfortunately this has not worked.
I am incredibly saddened by the announcement that Kimberley Leisure Centre is likely to close. The Leisure Centre is a hugely important part of our community. For my own family it holds special memories, my wife attended roller disco classes at the Centre when she was young and my children took swimming lessons there. Like many in our community it has been a part of my family’s life.
Having worked with the key stakeholders over a number of years to ensure we did not reach this point, I am as disappointed as the local community. I will continue to do all I can to relay just how important the Centre is to Kimberley and the surrounding areas. I have also previously met with the Alan Pink, Chairman of Kimberley Swimming Club, in 2020, we discussed how important it is to maintain the Club and how vital the swimming facilities are to our community.
In 2021 I conducted a survey for residents as well as schools to gather the strength of feeling on the Leisure Centre staying open and, as expected, it was clear that the community felt strongly the Leisure Centre must remain open for the long term. Many constituents responded that the Leisure Centre is a social hub, they praised the benefits to both physical and mental health as well as how it is a hub for both young and old. One phrase that came up multiple times was the Centre being the ‘heart of Kimberley’.
Over the last few days I have had similar correspondence with those from in and around Kimberley sharing their horror at the thought of the Leisure Centre closing. If it closes it will be a huge loss for our community and I know this will be felt throughout Broxtowe. As I understand, a final meeting will be held in December, until then I will continue to do all I can to engage with all stakeholders and show exactly why Kimberley needs its Leisure Centre.