While some Londoners are preparing for a frenzy of Olympics-fuelled sporting activity, others face losing the leisure facilities they have. The council-run Mornington Sports Centre in Arlington Road, Camden Town closed in December 2011 as part of a programme of building sell-offs by Camden Council following a reduction in the money it receives from central government. It plans to use funds from the sale of the building for housing and school repairs.
Now Fusion Lifestyle, a charity which runs 60 centres across the country, including Brockwell Lido, Camberwell Leisure Centre and Golden Lane Sport and Fitness in the City, has devised a plan to make sure another popular sports centre is not lost to a property development scheme. ‘We would run the centre on the same basis as council owned centres. People could use it on a casual basis, or join as a member, giving them greater flexibility. We want to provide affordable access to all, at no cost to the taxpayer, and make sure it is there for the future of the community. Once it’s gone, it’s gone,’ said Fusion’s Anne Layton.
‘We are one of a number of bids, but we are the only one proposing to keep it as a leisure centre. We are investing more than £3 million to build state of the art facilities, including a brand new pool and multi-purpose sports surface. Unfortunately property developers are likely to have more money.’ She added. ‘Mornington Sports and Fitness Centre has been closed as part of Camden Council’s saving programme to reduce costs by £83 million over the next three years, due to a significant reduction in funding from the government. It was decided that MSFC will be sold, as there are other, more modern and cost-effective sports centres in the area which have the capacity to serve the community,’ said a Camden Council spokesperson. Laura MacPhee
The Council will choose the winning bid at the end of February. Fusion have set up an online petition to preserve the site as a sports centre.