Bricket Wood sports centre to close as Watford centre opens

PUBLISHED: 11:17 08 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:01 06 May 2010

ONE of the district s sports centres is to close in a year s time following the opening of a new facility in Watford. Bricket Wood Sports Centre, which is leased from the banking giant HSBC, has been earmarked for closure for some time and the date was de

ONE of the district's sports centres is to close in a year's time following the opening of a new facility in Watford.

Bricket Wood Sports Centre, which is leased from the banking giant HSBC, has been earmarked for closure for some time and the date was dependent on the opening of the Woodside Centre in Watford.

It will now shut at the end of February 2010 in line with the terms of the lease and a break clause with Leisure Connection which operates it on behalf of St Albans District Council.

The district's Sport and Healthy Living Portfolio Holder, Cllr Sheila Burton, told Tuesday's Cabinet meeting that Woodside offered much better facilities than Bricket Wood and since its opening, the numbers of users at Bricket Wood had fallen off dramatically.

She pointed out that the council had accepted it would have to close to enable funding to be provided for the redevelopment of Westminster Lodge and they were taking steps to ameliorate the situation for users, including discussing the feasibility of discounted rates to use Woodside for residents of Bricket Wood, How Wood and Park Street.

Council leader, Robert Donald, said: "This is not a new policy we are talking about here. From the time we set out our plan for a major rebuild at Westminster Lodge we have recognised that Bricket Wood would have to be part of that redevelopment process.

"We are going to try to mitigate the transfer and management so that residents aren't inconvenienced. We are putting into practice what we have been saying for the past two to three years."

Cllr Tony Swendell, who represents Redbourn, pointed out that the sports centre in his village would welcome users displaced from Bricket Wood rather than pushing them to use Watford.

He said: "We struggle to make ends meet at Redbourn and would welcome any assistance.

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