Council calls for more information on proposed £5,500 grant to Ross Peers Leisure Centre, Soham

PUBLISHED: 15:31 04 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:31 04 February 2019

Ross Peers Sports Centre, Soham, which has had a £5,500 grant bid to East Cambs Council posted until March. Picture: ELY STANDARD

Ross Peers Sports Centre, Soham, which has had a £5,500 grant bid to East Cambs Council posted until March. Picture: ELY STANDARD

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A bid by the Ross Peers Sports Centre at Soham to East Cambs Council for a £5,500 grant has been deferred to allow councillors to get more information on how it will be used

A bid by the Ross Peers Sports Centre at Soham to East Cambs Council for a £5,500 spent.

The centre had applied for £5,555 for improvements to a studio (a converted squash court) and the community services committee was recommended by officers to agree to it.

The committee was told that when the studio was originally converted it was used by a number of groups but was not fit for purpose and acoustics were poor.

Soham councillor Josh Schumann said that the small hall at the centre was empty much of the time and the use of the squash courts was limiting.

Committee chairman David Ambrose Smith said that that having seen the studio, he wondered whether the grant would help the centre to achieve an income stream. Councillor Lis Every presumed that there was a business plan but if there was no strategy or plan for the revenue stream, she queried whether the centre might need help with running the activities.

Victor Le Grand, the senior leisure services officer, said that the Ross Peers Centre presented a whole range of challenges, not least because of the age of the building, its1980’s configuration and the resources available.

In business terms it was still treading water, and needed to think differently and ambitiously to move forward.

He had taken the view that if this project moved them forward, it would improve the income stream, but then a look could be taken at where it would be in 3 – 5 years time.

Councillor Christine Ambrose Smith asked if there was potential for the school to use the studio and make a financial contribution.

Mr Le Grand thought there would only be room for a limited number of people, but it was worth asking.

The chairman felt that should be deferred and the centre asked to provide a business plan for the change to the room.

Councillors were told that a delay would not cause any issues and it would be better for the matter to come back to committee.

The committee agreed to give £5,000 to the Ellesemere Centre at Stetchworth but to defer the Ross Peers application until they had prepared a business case.

It will be looked at in March.

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