Gymnasts to benefit from K2 investment

Crawley Borough Council hopes to save £60,000 a year by investing £650,000 into the K2 leisure centre.

The plan – which will see the closure of the indoor bowls area and expansion of the gymnastics hall – will go to public consultation from December 1-17.

Hawth Gymnastics, K2’s gymnastics club, has a waiting list of more than 1,000 young people. The proposed changes would reduce this by about 400.

Cllr Lenny Walker, Cabinet member for leisure and culture, put the numbers down to an increase in interest since the Olympics.

He said: “The achievements of our gymnasts has captured the imaginations of young people. We should continue to capture the enthusiasm that’s been shown. If we don’t start the ball rolling, we lose the momentum.”

As well as the expansion of the gym, the proposals for K2 would include a three-tier soft play area and two extra rooms suitable for children’s parties; and adaptations which would enable the centre to host music, comedy and entertainment acts in the main hall.

The changes would mean that Freedom Leisure – which manages the centre - would pay the council a higher rate of contractual payments due to the increased income predicted from the gymnasts and users of the soft play area.

Cllr Walker described the proposals as “making the best possible use of our assets” but some expressed concern at the possibility of losing one activity to make way for another.

Cllr Chris Mullins (Lab, Gossops Green) questioned the council’s claim that the bowls facility was underused and added: “We would like good facilities for the gymnasts but I’m not convinced it should be done at the cost of cutting out established groups.”

A staffed exhibition will be at K2 on December 1 (10am-5pm), December 3 (9am-2pm) and December 5 (3-8pm).