Currently, Rossett Sports Centre is used by Rossett School during school hours. Hours outside this, including weekends, are managed for community use by HBC. This arrangement is facilitated through a joint service agreement.
The school was given notice by HBC on 17 January 2014 that the council wished to terminate the joint service agreement for the Sports Centre with effect from 22 July 2014. This decision means HBC will vacate the Sports Centre on this date.
Rossett School have said they would have been happy to continue under the present agreement as it contributed to running costs. This revenue will now be lost to the school and will have to be found from elsewhere in order to maintain the current facilities.
HBC approached the school to step into its shoes to continue community use. The school regarded this as an excellent opportunity to improve existing community links, and to generate additional revenue to re-invest into the existing tired facility for the benefit of its students.
Extensive attempts have been made by Rossett School to find an acceptable transfer arrangement which would not compromise its educational funding. Unfortunately no such outcome has been forthcoming to date. It is HBC’s decision alone to close the existing internal facility but retain the artificial pitch which they plan to manage remotely from another site. This is likely to be a simple letting arrangement without additional coaching or similar community aspects.
Headteacher Pat Hunter said: Whilst it is not, and never has been, Rossett School’s responsibility to organise community sports use, we are naturally very disappointed that we have been unable to find a solution to the situation at Rossett Sports Centre.
As well as being a great facility for the school, it has been a much loved community sports centre for many years. Having been told that the council was pulling out of the site just a few months ago, we have done everything we possibly could to secure its future.
Of course it is not the school’s direct responsibility, but we had hoped to expand and extend the services offered to the community by taking over its management this summer, after Harrogate Borough Council decided to terminate our agreement.
However, it seems this would have a significant adverse effect on our educational funding, which would in turn affect the resources available for our students. While we have made every effort to find a solution which would allow us to run the sports centre as a community facility, it has not been possible, and our priority has to be the education of our students.
The artificial sports pitch will be available for community use through the council, although we understand this will be managed remotely. We are pleased that our sports classes will continue to be able to use the facilities at the sports centre for lessons and, given the position we found ourselves in, we believe we have done everything possible to make the best of the situation.