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Cradley park to net changing rooms at last
1:49pm Tuesday 1st October 2013 in News
NEW changing rooms are to be built in a Cradley park after five years of taxpayers footing the bill for hired temporary facilies which has run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The council is also looking for match funding from organisations such as the Lottery Fund to build a multi-use games area, reinstate the tennis courts and improve the football pitches at Homer Hill Park.
Friends of the park secretary Val Bloomer said they were “very pleased” the council was drawing up plans now and looking at funding for additional facilities.
It was thought the council would wait until 2015 when money from the sale of the neighbouring Cradley High School and leisure centre site is due to be paid by retirement village developers Midland Heart, £250,000 of which is earmarked for the changing rooms.
Mrs Bloomer said: “It makes sense to start now. The council has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds hiring the temporary changing rooms - it has been a big bone of contention.”
The original changing rooms in the park became a depot for the council’s Green Care team when facilities were provided in the leisure centre.
But when the centre and Cradley High School were closed in 2008, facilities for the footballers were hired in until the site was sold.
Cradley councillor Richard Body welcomed the decision to start making grant bids now, which even if not successful, would at least mean the changing rooms would be provided within the next 12 to 18 months.
The council has admitted more than £200,000 of taxpayers money has been spent on the temporary facilities - although Cllr Body believes the true cost is in the region of £400,000.
The original changing rooms will either be refurbished or rebuilt and the Green Care team moved to Quarry Bank.
It is also hoped they will include additional facilities including a kitchen and even a small gym.
A meeting of the friends group will discuss the proposed improvements next Tuesday (October 8) at the Rose and Crown (Potters), Colley Lane, at 7.30pm and Mrs Bloomer said residents and park users were invited to have their say.
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