Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre update

The current track at Broadbridge Heath will be demolished
The current track at Broadbridge Heath will be demolished

Horsham District Council has reiterated its commitment to building a new leisure centre and running track to replace facilities at Broadbridge Heath.

And although the council remained tight lipped about how the plans were progressing, the West Sussex County Times understands Tanbridge House School remains the likely destination for the new £1 million track.

A spokesperson for HDC said in a statement: “Horsham District Council remains committed to delivering a replacement athletics track and new leisure centre to replace Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre. Arrangements are complex but Council staff are pro actively working on this.”

The statement added that further information would be released to the public ‘in due course’ and reminded residents and the local community that the Broadbridge Heath centre remained open for users.

The news is the first the council has released since the end of June 2012, when proposals for a new £7.3 million leisure centre, including a new £1.2 million running track were rubber stamped by councillors.

It followed a bitter seven-month battle to save the facility and marked a major U-turn from HDC, who had planned to demolish the centre and adjacent running track without replacing them.

At the time the new centre was agreed, the council named Tanbridge as the preferred location for the new running track. Although HDC made no mention of the Guildford Road school in the latest statement, The West Sussex County Times understands from sources that discussions are ongoing but still at an early stage.

Meanwhile the group set up to fight the closure say they have not given up hope of a new indoor running track in the new facility to replace the existing ‘tube’.

HDC has not budgeted for an indoor track in the £7.3 million it has pledged, but Elspith Turner, England Athletics club and coach support officer for Kent and Sussex, said those campaigning remained hopeful.

“We’ve not given up, because although they’ve said they won’t budget for it I think they realise it’s a wonderful regional as well as a district facility which brings a lot of kudos to the town.

“But first and foremost we want to see the new centre and outdoor running track built,” said Elspith, who is also a coach and competitor for Horsham Blue Stars, based at Broadbridge Heath.