School is set to move into leisure business

Ambitious : Ashton Community Science College has plans to expand it's community sporting facilities
Ambitious : Ashton Community Science College has plans to expand it's community sporting facilities
Share this article
Have your say

A CITY school is launching an ambitious plan to run its own leisure centre

When the dual use agreement ends at the end of March, the school will take over take the reins of the established en-site facilities.

Principal at the Aldwych Drive school, Chris Lickiss said taking over the running of the popular sports centre will enable the school to raise money to carry out improvements the council can’t afford to do.

Already underway is a £300,000 external development which will see 3G all-weather floodlit soccer and rugby pitch facilities fully operational by next spring.

Interest in using this facility has been overwhelming and led to discussions between the school and Springfield Football Club to form a school-club agreement.

Mr Lickiss said the decision to end the partnership followed months of negotiations into ways of finding the funds needed to upgrade facilities.

He added: “We have always enjoyed a strong partnership with the city council regarding the development and usage of school facilities and we look forward to continuing this relationship in the future.

“Although we have exited the dual use agreement, I am emphatic that the local community will not lose out. Indeed, provision will be enhanced as our ambitious plans for the development of the campus come to fruition.”

The head added the excitement of the Guild and European City of Sports had “created a real energy and spirit of regeneration in the Ashton area”, and added: “Involvement in the Guild is something that our staff and students will remember forever. We have had the chance to make living history and we wanted to make the most of this by creating our own legacy, which is how we look upon our sports pitch. Running our own community leisure facilities will allow us to develop our legacy concept even further with the full support of the council, local community and business partner.”

Councillor Tom Burns – cabinet member for culture and leisure said: “Preston is a major sports hub and we need to nurture and support people, particularly the next generation, in their enjoyment of sport and exercise.  This includes having the best possible facilities available and we are right behind Ashton Community Science College and their plans.  The school is taking bold and brave decisions to invest in new sports facilities in Ashton. 

“The city council and the school have worked closely together for many years and we will continue to do so for the benefit of local people and the local community.”