A report to be considered at Salford City Council's Cabinet meeting next week to 'improve' the city's indoor sports facilities is recommending the closure of Ordsall Leisure Centre and Clarendon Leisure Centre, with the land possibly to be sold or swapped for housing.
Consultants brought in by Salford Council, in partnership with Sport England, originally recommended the bulldozing of Clarendon, Ordsall and Broughton Leisure Centres, to be replaced by just one facility. But this appears to have has been ruled out as it would have left Broughton's community with major access problems to any new location.
Instead the Council is proposing closure of Clarendon, to be replaced by a new £15million building on Loganberry Avenue, opposite Salford Precinct and next to the Gateway, by 2018/19. The Council report states that the land will be swapped "as part of the housing development", presumably with Pendleton Together.
Meanwhile the fate of Ordsall Leisure Centre is incredibly sketchy. Ordsall, the report states, is the only leisure site in the city "recognised as having a land value"...which it estimates as between £375,000 and £1.5million; with potential for a 'high density' housing scheme ie unaffordable apartments.
All the report states is that "The future operation of Ordsall Leisure Centre to be reviewed once the new East Salford facility is completed", and gives a timescale of 2020 and a saving of £75,000. The gymnastics at Ordsall would "accommodated elsewhere" but the short mat bowling facility would be shut as it is "not cost effective".
The report adds that the closure of Clarendon and Ordsall would provide 'joint savings', or additional revenue (it's unclear) of £379,000. Reading between the lines, it appears that Ordsall and Clarendon will be merged into one facility at the Precinct.
Meanwhile, Swinton and Pendlebury Leisure Centre is also to be bulldozed and relocated to a new £11.9million facility by 2022/23. The report states that the new facility would be part of a "remodelled Civic Campus", whatever that is.
Other proposals in the report are for Broughton Leisure Centre to be saved, complete with a £4.5million-£5million refurbishment; Eccles Leisure Centre will see an extended fitness suite and studio at a cost of £1.5million-£2million, as will Worsley Leisure Centre (£1.44million); and at Irlam and Cadishead Leisure Centre and Salford Sports Village there's to be 'extended provision' but plans are still being developed.
The Council reckons it's all going to cost over £30million, spread over ten years, and believes it's likely to get financial support for the plans from Sport England, although the report adds that "it is unlikely to be significant sums".
From the report, it looks like Ordsall will be the biggest loser, as more and more community facilities are drained from area to make way for unaffordable housing. Certainly in terms of Ordsall and Clarendon, residents should be asking whether these plans are for the benefit of the community or developers...