Hastings athletics track 'wearing out' and may close

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Young athletes in Hastings may be forced to train outside the town after the future of the area's only running track is thrown into doubt.

Hastings Athletics Club, which uses the track at William Parker Sports College, said facilities may close within a couple of years.

Built in 1997, it was the first National Lottery-funded track.

However, the college and East Sussex County Council said funding for the track had dried up.

Concerns have been raised that the track will now lose its UK Athletics safety certificate.

Digby Brodrick, chairman of Hastings Athletic Club, said there has been more interest in the club since the London 2012 Olympics, but it will be hard to keep people interested if the facilities are poor.

Funding 'isn't there'

He said: "The track is starting to wear out, it's difficult to be definitive about exactly how long it will last, but in the next two or three years some parts of the track will probably become unusable.

"So if the track is to close, we're concerned it will be the end of the club as well."

David Evans, assistant head teacher at William Parker Sports College, said the track was one of a few not directly owned by the local authority.

The track is administered by a management committee, which is made up of Hastings Borough Council, East Sussex County Council, the athletics club and the school.

Mr Evans said: "The amount of funding that is around to refurbish tracks or to do any major maintenance work just simply isn't there at the moment."

A spokesman for the county council said the authority had paid "over and above" its annual financial contributions towards maintenance of the track.

"We agree the track will need refurbishment work in future and we hope more national funding will be available for this facility following the London 2012 Olympic success and the prime minister's pledge to support investment in schools sports," he said.

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