NORTH Somerset Council has recently made the decision not to reopen Churchill Sports Centre due to funding issues.

It was hoped that the council could have been able to find the funds to reopen the centre in Churchill, near Winscombe, which was closed in March 2020.

The centre was popular for its gym and swimming pool.

A decision paper published today states that the leisure service at Churchill Sports Centre, the only sports centre to require council subsidy, cost over £100,000 a year in management fees and running costs.

With the cost of living crisis in full swing and the gym industry still recovering from the pandemic, it just wasn't a viable option.

Councillor Mike Solomon, North Somerset Council’s executive member for neighbourhoods and community services, said: “No-one has been able to find the money necessary to reinstate services and to keep the centre running."

Cllr Patrick Keating, ward councillor for Blagdon and Churchill, added: "I am disappointed, that despite the best efforts of the local community, council officers, myself and other ward councillors, it has proven impossible to find the £100,000 a year to sustain the operation of the pool, gym and studio at Churchill.

"As figures from the Local Government Association show, Government is simply not doing enough to fund local leisure facilities - with almost 40 per cent of sports centres across the country at risk of closure.

"Local Government finances are incredibly stretched - we need Government to step in to provide real funding to support these vital community resources."

More information regarding this decision can be found on the council’s website.