Stop the Gosling Sports Hall closing
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On Christmas Eve GLL, the social enterprise operating the Gosling Sports Park in Welwyn Garden City (WGC) under the ‘Better’ brand, informed sports clubs that its multi-purpose sports hall will close permanently on 31 March. Counter to everything GLL says it stands for, (www.gll.org) the decision was taken without prior consultation with Members, Clubs, the Gosling Sports Trust or the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, to which Better is the prime partner for sports and leisure facilities in the district.
This busy sports hall is the only one in WGC to provide good and extensive facilities for Badminton, Squash, Martial arts, Aerobics, Gymnastics, Volleyball, Basketball, Archery and Pilates. Enjoyed by able bodied and disadvantaged, young and old it is also the home of a thriving Bridge Club and the Jungle Mania play area. Primary and Secondary Schools use the hall for both curriculum and schools and after school activities.
The sports hall and Gosling Park have been at the heart of the community for over 50 years helping to produce several international sportspeople, developing skills, keeping residents fit and healthy and delivering fun and enjoyment for all.
Its impending closure threatens the survival of most of our clubs and opportunities for children and adults alike to continue with their chosen sports. It is also central to the town’s Centenary Celebrations next year.
Better claims that the complex is ‘economically unsustainable’ yet refuses to reveal figures to substantiate this. Previously under GST it ran at a small profit. Cynically, the sports hall has been allowed to run-down over several months with little cleaning, maintenance, and typically with no staff to provide information, security or collect payments.
The Park’s ski slope and golf range have been already earmarked for possible housing development by the WHBC and the indoor bowling arena was closed a few years ago. Rumours suggest that the athletics track and velodrome could be next! And Better management has refused to commit to not redeveloping the sports hall site for non-sports related purposes.
The Save Gosling campaign to reverse the decision and protect the future of the sports park is gathering momentum rapidly. Please join us by signing this petition NOW. …and see our Facebook page for the latest developments.
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