Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Mercer Hall Leisure Centre loses £400 000 of funding and may face closure.

The future of Mercer Hall Leisure Centre on Queen Street in Great Harwood is now uncertain as plans for it to receive funding of £400 000 were cancelled in the drive to reduce public spending.

The Leisure Centre which is operated by Hyndburn Leisure Trust has long been in need of urgent investment to improve the facilities at the centre. The council had initially won a grant which was to be provided by Sport England to the sum of £400 000 to help regenerate the centre.

The council has agreed to fund vital maintenance work from its own budget to the cost of £70 000 which it is hoped will keep the centre open in the short term. However with the loss of such a considerable investment in the facility the centre’s long term future is now left uncertain.

County Councillor Ciaran Wells said: “What we’re seeing is a complete U-turn from the Conservatives who said in their campaign that they would support local facilities like Mercer Hall. Now it seems that they are happy to see the area lose a much need facility like this one.”

Graham Jones MP, Member of Parliament for Hyndburn, said on the matter: “Where is the commitment from the Conservatives in Westminster to supporting our local communities in this so called Big Society? We are seeing facilities like Mercer Hall and nearby Shadsworth close across the country and it is the hardworking, local people who are being made to pay the price.

George Osborne promised he would not make cuts on the backs of the poor and David Cameron promised if he was made Prime Minister there would be no frontline cuts. They don’t have to do these things, they are choosing to do them by cutting the deficit to fast and at the same time funding £47.3bn in tax cuts.”