Tesco’s new threat to Welwyn Garden City gym
PUBLISHED: 14:13 07 October 2011
THE building of a new pool and gym complex as part of Tesco’s plans for Broadwater Road in Welwyn Garden City, could have a dire effect on nearby Gosling Stadium.
That was the message from a meeting of stakeholders held at the Stanborough Road complex to spell out to the borough council the detrimental impact the proposals would have.
No councillors attended the meeting to hear about the thousands of people who use the facilities every week, the fact that it is a charity with a long history of service to the community and how many youngsters found their first job at the park.
Gosling receives no cash from the council or Government and income raised from gym members subsidises many other activities on the site.
Athletics and cycling are both major parts of Gosling, with atheletics club Herts Pheonix boasting more than 600 members and 200 cyclists are signed up with Welwyn Wheelers.
But together both disciplines bring in just one per cent of the site’s income.
At the meeting Voluntary Board Director Eamonn Sonner said: “The loss of contribution at the gym facility would have a devastating impact.
“Just one per cent comes in from athletics and cycling, but that’s in financial terms, their contribution to Gosling is much higher.
“We want to provide facilities for the community, we need to get the message out there, to elected members and Tesco.”
A suggestion was made by an audience member for the swimming pool to be built on the Gosling site rather than at Broadwater Road.
Mr Sonner explained he was getting “mixed messages”.
He said: “At a meeting with the council today, officers said there’s no reason why the pool shouldn’t be on Gosling’s site.
“We made the suggestion to Tesco, they have said in principle they have no objection at it being on this site, but they have been told by the council it must be on the Tesco site.”
Gosling users are being urged to make their views known to councillors and a petition is being planned.
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