Help sought for leisure facility

Westfield Park, Longhoughton.
Westfield Park, Longhoughton.

Volunteers are wanted to help drive forward plans to build a new leisure and recreation facility in Longhoughton.

Trustees of the newly-named Longhoughton Community and Sports Centre Trust have been discussing possible projects for Westfield Park Centre, using section-106 money.

A multi-use games area (MUGA) and a small-scale skate facility have been mentioned, although the MUGA has been described as ‘the best option tabled in a long time’.

At Longhoughton Parish Council on Monday, Coun Adrian Hinchcliffe, who is also a trustee, asked if the council would go into partnership with the trustees to take forward the project. He asked if a nominee from the council could work with the trustees.

Council chairman Bryan Ellis said that the council could engage in conversation and described it as a worthwhile project, but felt that members were busy enough without taking something else on. It was suggested to try to recruit members of the community to help with the project.

Coun Hinchcliffe said: “No decision has been made, but the trustees have looked at two things – a skate facility and a MUGA. There has been a bit of a bad reaction to a skate facility from some quarters, but it is still on the table. There is also the possibility of a MUGA. We haven’t yet looked at costings.

“The facility could also be taken out of Westfield Park, but the trustees wouldn’t then help in that situation.”

Coun Carol Green said that it needs to be a facility which is suitable for all members of the community and it was important to find what people want.

RAF Boulmer representative Simon Buist said that work had been done a few years ago with youngsters to see what they wanted and a skate facility and a MUGA had come up.

He added: “We have looked at a skate facility before and it is an emotive issue – a lot of people don’t want one anywhere near where they live. We need to spend this s106 money and at the moment the MUGA is the best option we have.”

To help with the project, contact Adrian by emailing adrian.hinchcliffe@btopen world.com or calling 01665 572888.