Rossett Sports Centre to close to the public in July

Rossett Sports Centre.   (111214M4a)
Rossett Sports Centre. (111214M4a)

Rossett Sports Centre will close its doors to the public on July 22, when the joint service agreement between Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) and Rossett School ends.

The school was asked by HBC in January to step in to continue to offer the facility for community use when the authority vacates this summer.

Despite attempts, Rossett School said it has been unable to find a transfer arrangement that would not compromise its educational funding, though students will still use the centre as part of their education.

Headteacher Pat Hunter said: “Whilst it is not, and never has been, Rossett School’s responsibility to organise community sports use, we are naturally very disappointed that we have been unable to find a solution to the situation.

“We had hoped to expand and extend the services offered to the community by taking over its management this summer. However, it seems this would have a significant adverse effect on our educational funding, which would in turn affect the resources available for our students.

“While we have made every effort to find a solution which would allow us to run the sports centre as a community facility, it has not been possible, and our priority has to be the education of our students.”

The council said the school, with its academy status, wished to have a greater say over how the leisure facilities, which they own, are used and managed, therefore when the agreement ends on-site management will no longer be conducted by HBC and will revert back to the school.

HBC director of economy and culture Nigel Avison said: “HBC will no longer have any influence regarding the future running of the sports centre. It will be for the school, not the council, to decide whether it will continue to provide community access to the sports facilities.

“Should Rossett School take the decision to no longer make their sports facilities available, the public will still be able to access alternative council owned leisure centres elsewhere within the town and district. The coaching and community activity programmes that the council currently provide at Rossett Sports Centre will transfer to one of the council’s other leisure facilities in Harrogate.

“In addition, the most popular leisure facility at the sports centre, the artificial sports pitch, is not covered by the management agreement.

“HBC will continue managing the pitch, and will offer it for community use for the remainder of our current lease (to January 2015), and beyond if we are able to renew.”

HAVE YOUR SAY. Contact the newsdesk.