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Boost for Southampton Sports Centre under starter’s orders
THE community is invited to have its say over the future of a popular Southampton activity ground.
A total of ten drop-in sessions will be held during November to allow people to suggest long-term proposals for the future of Southampton Sports Centre.
Southampton City Council, which owns the sports centre, has appointed Tina Dyer-Slade, leisure services projects and partnerships manager, to run a city-wide consultation seeking ideas to ensure the popular arena can enjoy a thriving future. It comes after the city council joined forces with Friends of the Southampton Sports Centre (FOSSC) and centre managers Active Nation.
Campaigners from FOSSC say the debate over the future of the former boating lake site has been the “catalyst” to upgrade the entire site.
As reported earlier this year, the Environment Agency revealed controversial plans to transform the disused lake into a wildlife meadow – before performing a spectacular U-turn.
In August, campaigners from the Friends of Southampton Sports Centre unveiled plans to turn the site into a skate park similar to the famous arena in Venice Beach, California.
Now a full-scale consultation will be held on how to promote and enhance the facilities of the centre.
A number of suggestions have already been made, including a treetops walk and zip wire, an orienteering trail, 9x9 football pitches, an American football or rugby pitch, new changing rooms, and a viewing deck.
Ross McClean, from Active Nation, said: “It’s important to provide more than traditional ball sports for all residents of Southampton, and to give our sports teams the very best facilities on the south coast.”
A FOSSC spokesman said: “This jewel in Southampton’s crown has become dulled by the economic climate but the catalyst of the infill of the boating lake has bought everyone together in agreement that Sir Sidney Kimber’s inspirational sports centre, which opened 75 years ago, is in need of an upgrade to build on the Olympic legacy and make the site better suited to reflect the more diverse sporting and leisure needs of the 21st century.
“Some major projects have already been completed, like refurbishment of the running track and the all-weather pitches, and The Sporting View has been re-leased and will shortly reopen but much more could be done and your views and ideas are now being sought.”
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