Sports Hall to become children's play area

Council-run indoor sports facilities in Blackpool are poised to be converted to a children’s play area and cafe if a £325,000 investment is approved.

Netball and badminton courts inside the town’s Stanley Park sports centre will be lost if the scheme goes ahead.
But leisure chiefs say the  complex on West Park Drive is losing money and the changes could bring in an annual profit of nearly £50,000.
Blackpool’s executive committee is being asked to approve taking out a loan of £325,000 to pay for half of the sports hall to be transformed into a soft play area for children aged under eight, and a cafe.
The money would be repaid from expected revenue with the scheme predicted to make an annual profit of £47,880.
It is believed more than 33,000 children would use the new facilities each year.
A report to the executive, which is due to consider the recommendation on Monday, says while there were 287,000 visits to the sports centre in 2017/18 the number of bookings for the double sports hall has dropped.
The centre overspent on its budget last year by £69,000.
The changes would reduce the hall from a capacity of 10 badminton courts to five.
The report adds: “The development of a soft play centre would be a popular option, providing an all-year round play space for local families.”
It goes on to say: “Blackpool Sports Centre has found it challenging to attract a new market to its health and fitness activities and has seen significantly lower sales and overall membership than Moor Park Health and Leisure Centre.
“This has presented some financial challenges for the site. The proposal would attract a new audience to the facilities that would enable the service to cross-promote other activities available across the centres, including health and fitness memberships, children and young people’s activities and activities and events within the park.
“Furthermore it would provide a new income stream which would resolve the financial challenges the centre has faced over the previous three years.”

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