Wakefield Leisure centre axe a ‘travesty’

Lightwaves Leisure Centre
Lightwaves Leisure Centre
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SPORTS groups are backing a community group’s bid to rescue Lightwaves from closing next July.

The Next Generation Youth and Community Project submitted an asset transfer bid on Monday, which would give them control of the leisure centre on Marsh Way.

Last month Wakefield Council confirmed it would close when a new £10m swimming pool opens on Sun Lane.

The closure would leave long-standing clubs such as the White Rose Boxing Club without a home.

John Hall, who runs the boxing club which started in 1948, said the closure would be a “travesty”.

He said: “It is a terrible concern. We are full every night we train and without Lightwaves we will have nowhere.

“This club has helped some people who may have become offenders to keep on track.”

The Wakey Wheeled Cats roller derby team, who regularly train at the centre, are also backing the bid.

Captain Kirsty Quinn said: “There is so much potential for Lightwaves. If it closes the community will lose an important sports and social asset.”

Next Generation’s business plan is based on a partnership between centre users, community groups, the council and Wakefield College.

Manager Mohammed Ayub said the group had also been approached by Riverside Housing, who could help to fund the venture if supervised sessions for members of its rehabilitation programmes could be run at Lightwaves.

Mr Ayub said: “Our aim is to provide people with a thriving community-run facility for sport, leisure, social and community activities to advance their well-being, health and prospects and to promote cohesion within the community.”