Standard helps to save centre

PUBLISHED: 13:34 08 February 2007 | UPDATED: 13:48 04 May 2010

LITTLEPORT Leisure Centre has been saved from closure - thanks to the Ely Standard. The centre was under threat after electricity chiefs landed it with a £38,000 bill and threatened to cut off its power supply. Npower refused to reach a compromise which t

LITTLEPORT Leisure Centre has been saved from closure - thanks to the Ely Standard.

The centre was under threat after electricity chiefs landed it with a £38,000 bill and threatened to cut off its power supply.

Npower refused to reach a compromise which the leisure centre management committee could afford and the future looked bleak.

But after the Ely Standard reported the story exclusively on its front page, Npower immediately agreed to slash £9,000 off the bill.

Further negotiations followed and yesterday (Wednesday) the committee was told the electricity giant had agreed a deal which would cut almost £17,000 from the original demand.

This means the management

committee will still have to pay just over £450 a month over four years to settle the outstanding debt and a

further £13,000 a year in increased electricity charges.

But, although it faces a financial struggle for the foreseeable future, the centre will survive.

"We are going to have a real struggle finding almost £20,000 a year and the repayment term is longer than we wanted but we have reached a compromise that allows us to move forward," said Daryn Dodge on behalf of the centre's management committee.

"I am really grateful to the Ely Standard. You have been a major factor in getting this reduction.

"Npower wasn't talking to us or taking any notice of us until you got involved. Your story was published and all the other media jumped on the back of it. I can't thank you enough for all your efforts."

The leisure centre's problems began when an error in the way the centre's meter was read resulted in the management committee only paying a 10th of the power actually used.

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