Save Basingstoke Sports Centre
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- The Council's proposal for a large leisure hotel at Basing View is the biggest threat in our 47-year history putting at risk the very existence of Basingstoke Sports Centre and the registered charity itself.
- Confidential Council papers (obtained through a Freedom of Information request) recognise this additional large scale leisure provision is unnecessary and will displace our own customers. This will have a devastating impact.
- The leisure hotel will only be viable because the Council is to spend £3,000,000 to enable the development and give Village Hotels a 250 year lease on a peppercorn rent.
- There will be a staggering loss of opportunity for regular physical activity for all ages, including the hundreds on our Cardiac and Cancer Rehabilitation programmes.
- Almost 1 million visits to the town centre would disappear every year, and more than 180 jobs could be lost.
- Whilst it may be two to three years before the hotel will open, we need your support now to ensure the community facilities of Basingstoke Sports Centre are available for generations to come.
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In October 2016 the Cabinet of Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council agreed a proposal to enable the development of a large leisure hotel at Basing View. The large leisure hotel, Village Hotels, would need to generate a third of its turnover from health and fitness.
The Council already recognises that the town centre is well provided for in terms of health and fitness and this is referenced in two of their published documents – Leisure Recreation Needs Assessment (2015) and Built Sports Facility Strategy (2016).
Through Freedom of Information requests, we have obtained a copy of a confidential Council report considered at Cabinet which states “the recent research carried out, strongly indicates that any new gym, or a significant expansion to an existing gym, would simply displace gym users from existing provision and undermine the viability of existing providers”.
Furthermore, this same Council report also states “Certainly, significant displacement from Basingstoke Sports Centre could jeopardise not only the community health programmes, it may impact the viability of the Sports Trust Charity that operate the Basingstoke Sports Centre”.
We understand that Village Hotels only regard Basingstoke as a marginally viable location and so the Council have agreed to spend £3million of Council money to help enable the development as well as giving Village Hotels a 250-year lease on a peppercorn rent, foregoing multiple millions of pounds of income to the Council in ground rent over the term of the lease.
We have commissioned independent research which shows that up to 23% of our health and fitness membership could be displaced and that the impact on the charity’s income could be as high as £800,000 per year. This would lead to the winding up of the Charity; the closure of Basingstoke Sports Centre, and the loss of all that it adds to the town in terms of regular physical activity, health and wellbeing and children’s activities, and an economic impact on the town through loss of jobs and decrease in town centre visits.
Basingstoke Sports Trust is a registered charity. Charity No. 301731.
We, the undersigned, ask the Council to reverse their decision and stop this development from going ahead and to seek only those alternative proposals which do not include such a large leisure offering in order to protect the future of Basingstoke Sports Centre.
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