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Demolition of Knottingley Sports Centre to start

Protesters tried to get the council to overturn their decision to close the centre when the news was first announced.
Protesters tried to get the council to overturn their decision to close the centre when the news was first announced.

Preperations are underway this week to demolish Knottingley Sports Centre.

The sports centre was closed in February last year after an external report highlighted that, along with Castleford Swimming Pool, cannot provide the services to meet the current demand.

It also reported that the centres were beyond the end of their useful life and were expensive to maintain.

Wakefield Council closed the building, alongside Castleford Swimming Pool, as part of its plans to build the new multi-purpose Five Towns Leisure and Wellbeing Centre in Pontefract Park.

The council is in the process of appointing a contractor to demolish Knottingley Sports Centre building, with the demolition expected to take place during the first week of March.

Wakefield Council was criticised over the plans to close both facilities with objectors setting up peitions and protesting against the proposal.

Coun Jacquie Speight, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “We are pleased that works have begun on site at Knottingley Sport Centre.

“The empty building has attracted vandalism and anti-social behaviour in recent months, so we are pleased that plans are moving forward for the demolition.”

A planning application for the Five Towns Leisure and Wellbeing Centre is expected to be submitted in the next couple of months.

The plans for the £14.8m complex in Pontefract Park include an eight or 10-lane swimming pool, studio pool with moveable floor and a splash pad water confidence area.

The centre would also offer a gym, exercise studios, a two-court sports hall, a ‘clip and climb’ activity, café and soft play area as well as meeting rooms for community use and referral rooms for exercise and weight management support.

Outside there would be tennis courts, an activity and exercise space, five-a-side 3G (synthetic grass) pitches and car parking.