England

County Durham sport provision overhaul drawn up

Plans for a major shake-up of the way sport is provided in County Durham are being drawn up.

Durham County Council's cabinet will discuss a sport and leisure strategy which aims to get more people active.

It will also be asked to approve a three-month consultation about indoor sports facilities, which includes proposals to close six sports centres.

The council said research had shown a need for changes in the way sport was offered to attract more people.

'Over provision'

Cabinet member for leisure Councillor Bob Young said: "We have reviewed what we have been providing because research and consultation has shown a clear trend away from indoor facilities and in favour of a wider range of outdoor activities.

"We have an over provision of sport halls located in the wrong places and in need of considerable investment, at the same time we have less people using these facilities and more seeking alternative ways to keep fit and have fun."

The cabinet will consider whether to support the strategy and also approve the consultation.

A report said the authority needs to address under-used facilities as savings of £3.5m need to be made in leisure services over the next four years.

The consultation would include proposals to close the Abbey, Coxhoe, Deerness, Ferryhill, Glenholme and Sherburn leisure centres.

If the consultation goes ahead, groups using the centres will have the chance to comment and offer alternatives to closure.

A further report would go before the cabinet before a final decision.

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