Published: 12:01, 06 August 2017
There is still no light at the end of the tunnel for a beloved leisure centre which locals hoped could be saved following its sudden closure almost four years ago.
Fleet Leisure and Sports Club, in Nelson Road, Gravesend, shut in September 2013 after the company leasing it from Gravesham council went into administration and plans for Ebbsfleet United to buy it fell through.
There was a brief glimmer of hope in early 2015 when the then Labour council promised to plough £2.5 million into getting it running again, but the cost of renovation was underestimated and the plans were scrapped.
Gravesham Community Leisure Limited (GCLL), which runs Cascades Leisure Centre and Cygnet Leisure Centre, was also going to be tasked with running Fleet, which had been a sports venue for 81 years.
The council insists it still wants to reopen Fleet one day, but the site has fallen into a terrible state since it closed and will take years more before it is suitable for use.
Cllr Sandra Garside (Con), the council’s cabinet member for sport, leisure and the arts, brought the issue before colleagues at a recent meeting.
It was agreed to advertise the facility to external organisations and award a long-term lease, subject to planning, to have it restored.
Negotiations with GCLL on a contract extension up to 2025 for the leisure centres will continue.
Cllr Garside said the council would keep people updated with any future developments.
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