‘Well used’ Glasgow sports centre to close permanently

A ‘well-used’ community sports centre in a part of Glasgow with one of the city’s worst health records is to be closed down permanently.

Yoker sports centre will close permanently.

Local residents said the closure of Yoker sports centre would be a big loss for the community.

Glasgow City Council has now taken over the centre and there are plans to turn it into a nursery.

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Councillors and residents had appealed for the gym to remain open alongside the new early years centre. Politicians expressed their disappointment after learning that would not happen at the Garscadden and Scotstounhill Area Partnership meeting on Tuesday.

Confirming the Speirshall Terrace sports centre would be missed in the area, Labour councillor Eva Murray said: “It was a sports centre built by and for the community.

“The sports ground and the centre was well used. People will now have to travel a fair bit to get to a similar facility.

“Not everybody has access to a car or is able to afford to jump on a bus. There has been no community consultation. The community were willing to work with the council and Glasgow Life to find a solution. But that has been dumped.”

A letter was sent from the organisation to the partnership confirming the situation.

Glasgow Life previously said it was considering offering “some of the services historically provided from Yoker to other facilities, such as Glasgow City Council’s Education facility at Clyde Campus”.

Describing the lack of involvement of local people in the decision as disturbing, Councillor Bill Butler, Labour, said: “ I think this has been done without any real consultation at all. It has simply been done with a disregard for the wishes of local people.”

He confirmed the centre will be a big loss for the area.

The meeting heard there is a breakdown of trust between the council and communities when local people are treated in that manner.

Sandy Busby, of Yoker Community Council, said: “Yoker has one of the worst health records.”

He added: “The local residents have been told what is happening rather than being asked.”

Area Partnership chair councillor Chris Cunningham said: “Covid changed the nature of Glasgow Life’s business model. They have made decisions on the back of that, which are uncomfortable for them and for us.

“It is not a decision which they have taken because they wish to walk away from a community.

“It is a decision they have taken because the business model no longer sustains and supports the action that they would like to take.”

The SNP politician said the administration was happy to support a combined nursery and sports centre.

He added: “In the absence of a combined centre I remain with the view that we need to develop a nursery in that position and use the nursery to further develop the facilities around the area.”