A radical £650,000 revamp of K2 Crawley has been put on hold so Cllr Duncan Crow, Crawley Borough Council’s new Cabinet Member for Leisure and Cultural Services, can have a ‘fresh look’ at the plans.
The proposals to expand gymnastics provision and cater for bigger events and concerts were controversial becasue they also involved axing the bowling lanes popular with elederly residents.
Cllr Crow, who took over the leisure and culture portfolio after Cllr Lenny Walker’s was dismissed over claims the council was insitutionally racist, will look again at all possible options and meet with gymnasts and bowlers.
The plans were put forward after it emerged up to 1,000 children and young people were on a waiting list for gymnastics at K2 while usage rates for indoor bowls had declined by a fifth in the last three years.
Any new solution will be put to a cross-party forum of councillors who will make a recommendation for the council to decide upon.
Cllr Crow said: “K2 Crawley is a fantastic success story with 1.4 million visits anticipated this year. Leisure centre usage has doubled in a decade in Crawley which is great news, but K2 Crawley is becoming a victim of its own success as we can’t accommodate all the children and young people who would like to take gymnastics classes. It would be wrong of us not to look at all possible options to help meet that demand from Crawley’s children and young people, but at the same time we must recognise that many older people have fewer sporting activities available to them and that they cherish bowls at K2 Crawley.
“I am going to look at all existing facilities and options for both gymnastics and bowls in the town so as to fully understand what could be achieved with innovative thinking and a constructive engagement. I want to try and build a consensus and would dearly love to ensure that both bowls and gymnastics are enabled to their full potential in Crawley, which can only happen by keeping an open mind. I want to be open and fair to all users and potential users of both activities at K2 Crawley and believe it would be short-sighted of councillors to form any entrenched and inflexible view about the proposals at this stage.”