Charity-run sports centre in Ovenden shut over 'safety issues'

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Threeways Centre in OvendenImage source, Google
Image caption,
The council said it was considering the long-term future of the sports centre

A community-run sport centre said to be a "lifeline for the community" has been shut due to "site safety issues".

Calderdale Council has closed the facility at the Threeways Centre in Ovenden, Halifax, to check building and equipment safety.

The authority said it had taken over management of the whole site, which was leased to a community group in 2013.

Lawrence Fear, a centre director, said it was invaluable to families who could not afford to go elsewhere.

The community group took over the Threeways Centre, which is the former Ridings School, when the council handed over the management of the site via a community asset transfer.

As well as the leisure centre, it includes small businesses, a church and a GP surgery which are run by tenants.

Mr Fear said: "Ovenden is among the 10% poorest boroughs in the country for deprivation.

'Devastating' move

"There's problems with anti-social behaviour because the kids have got nothing to do and we've been doing something about that.

"As well as the gym, there's gymnastic clubs and Tae Kwon Do for children, but now the council has put an end to it and it's just devastating."

Mr Fear said they had been working with the council around issues to do with the lease and had addressed a number of health and safety issues that needed resolving.

But the authority said the board's "unsustainable financial situation and struggle to address statutory health and safety requirements" meant it had "no option but to act and take back control of the site".

Mark Thompson, Calderdale Council's director of regeneration, said: "We are working hard to secure a sustainable future for the site and we are providing support to tenants and their employees, as we appreciate this is a difficult time."

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