On the Castle Sports Complex debate, I would like to put the following question forward: If this facility is for Spalding and the surrounding areas, why does it have to be based in the centre of Spalding, when this is a plot which clearly has limited space for development and parking?
Accepting the pool needs an upgrade, and that it would be better to have everything on the same site, if this is not possible then why do we not consider this?
Since the current Castle Sports Complex was built before the bypass was built, can we not “think outside the box” and re-site it somewhere, eg towards Cowbit on the bypass where the hospital site was considered, or towards the Springfields roundabout – where land is for sale? Sell the existing plot for housing/parkland as funds towards the purchase - after all, if South Holland District Council have a spare £84k available for the St Thomas Road housing site?
A new site would have space for purpose built fitness suites, sports courts (indoors and outdoors), bowls, athletics tracks and a function room (renting out for extra financial gain).
The current complex is outdated and not fit for purpose - the gym is not big enough and always has queues for machines.
It would also have enough parking - this is not the case at the current site where if you try to get to a class after work, some teams often all park there and go out together in a car share leaving their cars to block the spaces.
There are insufficient classes held, and those that are there can be quite intimidating, two friends stopped going when the children of the participants and trainers were allowed to skateboard and throw balls around during the class, hitting other people who had paid to be there, shouting and swearing at older members of the class. Some classes have beginners/intermediates and advanced levels altogether
A new site would enable more than one class to be run at once eg spinning/body combat/body balance/circuit training/step/aerobics etc, of different levels and abilities. Some of the current classes are massively oversubscribed
The last upgrade of the Harpers gym suite was good, but the area is still insufficient - I gave up my membership and joined a Peterborough gym, but it would be good to support something in my own area.
The athletic track and old BMX area need some work, but there is insufficient space to expand and offer different activities
Given the Government initiatives to get fit and the obesity crisis in the UK, a large purpose-built facility, with easy access, a great range of classes and the opportunity to try other sports would really enhance our growing town.
It should not just be for the convenience of those that live in Spalding, the rest of us pay our council taxes too!