Funding gap concern over Thurrock Sports Hub

LAST NIGHTS MEETING of the ruling Labour cabinet backed the further investigation of a sports hub at either Belhus Park or Blackshots.

But Labour members once again stressed that there were huge funding gaps in the project which meant that the council could enable the land to be available but that the sports clubs would have to find the funding.

It is plausible that the total cost could be as high as £30 million.

The report referenced the feasibility study by Capita Symonds that was completed two years ago but as Conservative cllr Tunde Ojetola pointed out from the gallery, the report and its data was obsolete.

Portfolio holder Lynn Worrall said: “We all know that there are no pots of money but there is a willingness to see a hub that provides for the sporting as well as community needs in the whole of the borough.”

Councillors referred to the recent annual general meeting of Impulse Leisure which operate the three centres in Corringham, Blackshots and Belhus.

Any investment may well involve a restructuring of the three centres.

West Thurrock councillor Andy Smith believed that a totally private scheme would be the simplest answer.

The former leader said: “I think we should be looking at a scheme such as the one for a Tilbury Sports Stadium which would be totally provided by a private company.

“I handed in a letter this afternoon which is a possible option.”

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