North Walsham High School governors agree to explore possibility of managing sports centre

PUBLISHED: 17:22 17 July 2012

North Walsham Sports Centre.

North Walsham Sports Centre.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2009

Governors have voted to pursue a controversial scheme which would see North Walsham High School manage the town’s sports centre in conjunction with the new community Atrium building, both of which are on the school’s Spenser Avenue site.

The idea was proposed by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), which currently runs the sports centre, used by both the school and community.

“The school and NNDC are planning to gather the views of the wider community before final decisions are made,” said head teacher Caroline Brooker.

“The business plan for the sports centre will have to be cost neutral because the school is not in a position to subsidise activities,” she added.

Council leader Keith Johnson said he was delighted that the school governors had “indicated a positive initial view of this project”.

“This could provide a very exciting future for North Walsham High School, the Atrium and the sports centre, all operating hand-in-hand at the centre of the community,” said Mr Johnson.

Reaction earlier this month to the idea from key sections of the North Walsham community ranged from cautious to hostile. Town mayor Dave Robertson, speaking personally, feared that, with the Atrium’s lack of money, the move could see the demise of the sports centre.

His view was echoed by Richard Palmer, acting chairman of the sports centre’s voluntary management committee, which is also furious that members were not consulted at the outset on the proposal.

And North Walsham county councillor Paul Morse has accused NNDC of walking away from its responsibilities to provide sports and leisure facilities in the town.

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