By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter
Broxtowe Borough Council have been accused of being ‘secretive’ over the future of Kimberley School Sports Centre after one councillor was told staff had been informed it faced closure.
The centre, which includes a swimming pool and gym, is jointly run by Broxtowe Borough Council, Kimberley School and Liberty Leisure Limited – which is part of the authority.
The site in Newdigate Street was formerly known as Kimberley Leisure Centre.
Councillor Philip Owen, leader of the Conservative group at the authority, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service any potential closure was “very disappointing and upsetting”.
Cllr Owen says a council report on Kimberley Leisure Centre which went to the council’s cabinet in July 2023 revealed there was a £90,000 deficit for managing the swimming pool. However, the report was an exempt item, meaning it has not been made public.
Cllr Owen said: “I was told that staff were called together and told the centre would be most likely to close.
“Some of them could be found other jobs within the council and the rest could be made redundant.”
When asked by the Local Democracy Reporting Service to clarify the centre’s future, a Broxtowe Borough Council spokesperson said: “Kimberley School, Broxtowe Borough Council and Liberty Leisure Limited have been working together to find a way to keep the site operating for swimming, gym and fitness classes.
“A final decision will be made at cabinet on the 5th December 2023.”
Cllr Owen added: “This could leave people in North Broxtowe without a leisure facility.
“It is a condemnation of both sides. The council or the school are coming out of this with any glory whatsoever.
“The council have been very secretive about the negotiations.”
Cllr Owen said residents have emailed him with “concerns” about the rumours of a closure.
He said: “The leisure centre is very well-used and the swimming club there has an excellent reputation.
“It’s very disappointing and upsetting.
“I urge both sides to get around the table and not give up on the people they serve.”
A previous agreement in the running of the centre between East Midlands Education Trust and Broxtowe Borough Council ended in April 2022.
Kimberley School and Broxtowe Borough Council then took on the running of the leisure centre.
Kimberley School has also been approached for comment.