Sports centre fears over new facilities

The "Evergreens" (badminton and short tennis) at Thornton Sports Centre. Pictured front (right) is Brian Yates.
The "Evergreens" (badminton and short tennis) at Thornton Sports Centre. Pictured front (right) is Brian Yates.
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Elderly sports players fear they will be left without a lifeline venue to play sport and socialise at when redevelopment plans go ahead.

Members of Thornton Sports Centre say they feel left in the dark by Wyre Council as plans are in place to install a bowling alley and skate park at the facilities on Victoria Road East.

The group, who play short tennis, fear being left with less space to play in, and worry the changes will waste facilities in the day and will leave members without a valued social and sporting resource.

Short tennis player Brian Yates, 74, said: “We’ll only have one hall to play in, it’ll mean people sitting around not playing.”

Mr Yates and his fellow members, who pay more than £150 per year for membership, joined in Wyre Council’s consultation on the plans but say they have not heard anything since and fear they are being “shoved aside”.

He added: “Some people aren’t renewing their membership. But it’s a social thing too. We feel left in the dark.”

A spokesman for Wyre Council said: “Our intention is to introduce a greater variety of facilities, not to lose our current customers, however in future they may have to play in a different part of the centre.

“We’re currently working on designs based on all consultation feedback we received, with a view to devising plans that accommodate everyone.

“Once we’ve agreed designs, we’ll make them publicly available to keep people updated as things progress.”

Work is due to start in March 2014 and be completed by October.