An islander has set up a new campaign group to stop the removal of sport from Fort Regent amid government plans to reduce the number of clubs in the leisure centre to just five by next year.
The 'Friends of Fort Regent' group - set up by Roy Travert - has "strongly urged" States Members to "consider the immense value that these facilities bring to the local community and keep the sports facilities open".
The group cites the importance of physical activity, community benefits, economic benefits, and investment in infrastructure as the main reasons why sports should not be removed from Fort Regent.
At the end of last year, Express reported that work to turn Fort Regent into a "cultural and leisure destination" had been put on hold to accelerate the move of sport out of the venue.
Last month, Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet went a step further and confirmed that plans for the future of Fort Regent that were developed under the previous Government are “unfeasible in the current economic climate”.
Video: Former Chief Minister John Le Fondré introducing the now-scrapped 'Future Fort' vision.
However, he added: “The Future Places Ministerial Group are reassessing what is feasible and are committed to developing an affordable and deliverable proposal for the future of Fort Regent, and to securing an appropriate mandate from the States Assembly.”
And giving an update on the move of sport out of the centre, he said: “The number of Government services, sports clubs and commercial enterprises operating at Fort Regent has reduced from 39 in 2019 to 21 in 2023, this is expected to reduce to five in 2024."
CLICK TO READ: The full letter to States Members.
In a public letter, the 'Friends of Fort Regent' group implores States Members to "reconsider any plans to close or repurpose the sports facilities at Fort Regent".
They added: "We believe that it is essential to continue to invest in these facilities, not only for the benefit of the local community but also for the long-term prosperity of the island as a whole.
"We urge you to listen to the voices of the many individuals and organisations who have spoken out in favour of preserving these important resources."
The Friends of Fort Regent have also set up an online petition to "enable clubs and members of the public to register their objections to the removal of facilities". It has gained over 300 signatures in the last three days.
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You can reach me on our contact form on our website at https://fortregent.co.uk or my phone number is listed in the phone book.
Regards Roy Travert