Decision day looms for Lightwaves bid

Next Generation Youth and Community Project has submitted a business plan to Wakefield Council for the running and management of Lightwaves. The swimming pool has to be removed due to a pending essential maintenance bill of �500,000 - but it will be used for extreme sports instead. Decision expected early January.'L to R) Tony Fradgley, Yubi, John Hall, Ilonka Van Rijn, Ellen Wakefield.'w7300a150

Next Generation Youth and Community Project has submitted a business plan to Wakefield Council for the running and management of Lightwaves. The swimming pool has to be removed due to a pending essential maintenance bill of �500,000 - but it will be used for extreme sports instead. Decision expected early January.'L to R) Tony Fradgley, Yubi, John Hall, Ilonka Van Rijn, Ellen Wakefield.'w7300a150

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A COMMUNITY group’s bid to rescue Lightwaves from closure is expected to be approved next week.

Next Generation Youth and Community Project are looking to take over the running of the Marsh Way leisure centre, which Wakefield Council announced last year they could no longer afford to run.

Ahead of a meeting on Tuesday, the council’s cabinet committee have been recommended to approve a 25-year lease of the centre to Next Generation.

A report to cabinet said the council would help to make the project viable, but would not be required to support it financially.

Project manager Mohammed Ayub said feedback on the bid had been positive so far.

He said: “We hope the councillors will back it.

“Our aim is to provide a thriving community-run facility for sport, leisure, social and community activities to advance people’s well-being, health and prospects.”

Next Generation wants to transform the pool area at Lightwaves into an arena for sports like bouldering, climbing, BMXing, rollerblading and skateboarding.

They would also provide space for community sports groups.

But as part of the agreement they would have to have implemented this within two years, or else the council would have the right to sell the building on the open market for an estimated return of £450,000.

The council announced at first that the leisure centre would close in July, but later said they would keep it open until a transfer bid had been seen through.

Sun Lane Leisure, the council’s new city centre pool, is on schedule to open this summer.

It will replace the pool at Lightwaves, which has a limited lifespan due to structural damage.