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Resident’s appeal to rescue town’s only leisure centre
Bodmin resident Christine Howard, inset, is determined to save the town’s leisure centre, which is facing a ‘use it or lose it’ scenario; Bodmin Town Council has called on potential investors to pitch in

Bodmin resident Christine Howard, inset, is determined to save the town’s leisure centre, which is facing a ‘use it or lose it’ scenario; Bodmin Town Council has called on potential investors to pitch in

17th March 2021

By Olllie Young

A Bodmin resident is launching an attempt to save the town’s leisure centre as the threat of losing it increases.

Christine Howard delivered an impassioned speech at last Thursday’s Bodmin annual town meeting as she has become more and more concerned with the prospect of losing the facility.

Currently, Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) hold the lease on the leisure centre, but it is understood that Cornwall Council have an option to buy it back for £1.00 should they wish.

Christine told the Voice: “The leisure centre must be run properly and the cafe must be reopened. This will take time, but will get the public back and the community spirit to come back.

“With the town increasing in population, there should be more investment and publicity put back into the centre to be revitalised. It certainly has the capabilities of being a fantastic facility for the town and surrounding areas as a community hub.

“Many other towns would envy such a facility.”

The reason for Christine’s concern is that Cornwall Council had previously denied GLL’s application to install solar panels, citing that they want to retain parts of the land for the entrance to the Halgavor development.

Fears exist that eventually Cornwall Council might sell the land for development.

At Thursday’s meeting, Christine questioned whether Bodmin Town Council could take on the leisure centre, but senior council figures admitted the possibility of that was low due to the “financial burden” it would place on the council.

In the meeting, the mayor of Bodmin, Jeremy Cooper, acknowledged the threat of losing the leisure centre by describing the situation as “use it or lose it.”

Christine hopes that the leisure centre can be saved by investing back into it, and Bodmin Town Council called on any potential investors to form a group to save the centre.

One major issue for the lack of use seems to be the lack of catering provision, with there now only being one coffee machine in the building.

The facility has some of the only indoor tennis courts in the county, a swimming pool, gym and hockey and football pitches, but is not having its potential fully realised according to Christine and, she says, many others.

The message to Bodmin is clear: if the leisure centre continues to be underused, there is a very real risk that the centre will be gone forever - something Christine is determined to stop.

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