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Articles: £16m Shepway Sports Centres

Contributed by localrags on Oct 23, 2003 - 01:04 PM

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£16m FOR NEW SHEPWAY SPORTS CENTRES<IMG alt="Sports Centre" hspace=20 src="images/gym.jpg" align=left vspace=20 border=1>

Plans for state-of-the-art sports facilities in Folkestone and Hythe
were sealed this week when the government announced the go-ahead for Shepway Council’s £10 million Private Finance Initiative (PFI) application.

The award, from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, enables a £16 million capital investment in sports facilities in Folkestone and Hythe and the financial support needed to ensure the schemes are maintained and managed to a high standard for years to come.

The news was greeted with delight by the Council, which had spearheaded the PFI bid o­n behalf of a steering group made up of the Council, Folkestone Sports Centre Trust, Hythe Town Council and Shepway Sports Council. The bid was prepared by the Council with specialist guidance from PMP Consultancy – the leading PFI and sport development advisors.

Council Leader, Cllr Linda Cufley said: “This is a major success for Shepway and great news for Folkestone and Hythe  - the bid was o­ne of the largest PFI awards for sports and leisure facilities across the country for a district council.

“We will now be able to fulfil our ambitions to radically improve sports facilities for the people of the district. This would not have been possible without the PFI award. The Council could not have afforded to carry out the improvements – which not o­nly require substantial capital investment but also a further cost of £1 million a year over the next 31.5 years. The PFI has cut this financial burden by half.â€?

Folkestone and Hythe MP, Michael Howard, said: “I am delighted with this news.  This is a very exciting project which has always had my full support. It will make a big difference to the lives of many of my constituents.â€?

Chris Campbell, Shepway Council’s Project Manager, said the next step towards realising the Council’s ambitions would be the setting up of a public and private sector partnership to design, build and operate the future facilities.

“The PFI award is great news and reflects the hard work and effort of all members of the steering group.

“We must now ensure that the project outlined in the application to the Government is delivered – the DCMS has awarded the money o­n this basis.  I am confident that with the positive will in place from our partners and the support from the district’s residents, Shepway will soon be the proud home of major new sports facilities.â€?