Deal brings sports centre a step closer

Contributed by editor on Jan 17, 2006 - 06:28 PM



The proposed new sports centre for Shepway should now be able to go ahead after the Folkestone Sports Centre Trust (FSCT) and Shepway Council thrashed out a deal to revive the flagging  project.

FSCT agreed in principle to link up with Shepway council and become a stakeholder in the scheme.

If all goes ahead, it would mean the £10 million Private Finance Initiative (PFI) credit award to help fund the modern, state-of-the-art sports centres in Shepway will be safe.

At a meeting on Friday (13 January), between the Trust and Shepway Council, it was also agreed to make a new joint bid to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) which would enhance the current scheme.

One of the outcomes of the meeting was that the new centre along with the ski centre, golf course and skatepark would operate as one scheme with a mix of facilities.

Cllr Carole Waters, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Tourism, said: “I would like to thank the Chairman and Trustees of Folkestone Sports Centre for their vision of a partnership with the council and for their commitment to producing an enhanced scheme for Folkestone.

“I believe this will help secure the PFI award and enable us to fulfil our sporting aspirations for the people of the district.�

The DCMS had warned Shepway Council that the £10 million PFI credits were at risk and had asked the Council to submit a report assessing the effect on Folkestone’s planned new sports centre should the existing sports centre remain open. If the PFI credits were lost, plans for a new sports centre at Hythe would have also been under threat.