Fringe Box



Letter: Leisure Centres Are Not Built For Profit

Published on: 21 Nov, 2016
Updated on: 21 Nov, 2016

spectrum-01From Andrew Backhurst

When a town builds a leisure centre, does it build it for financial gain? Of course it doesn’t. The same can be said when it builds and operates any arts or sporting venue. The council builds them for the physical and mental well being of its people.

You ask the population of Guildford what their memories are of the Spectrum, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, G Live, the old Civic Hall, the old Bedford Road Sport Centre, Guildford City FC or any of the sporting clubs in the borough, and 99% of those memories will be positive ones.

This kind of well being is worth every penny that is spent on it.

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Responses to Letter: Leisure Centres Are Not Built For Profit

  1. Dave Middleton Reply

    November 21, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    A very worthy opinion and outlook indeed.

    However, in the current financial climate of austerity, these facilities need to be at very least self financing and ideally, profitable, so that the money can be fed back into the needs of the wider local community.

    If it cannot be demonstrated that this will be the case, then they should not be funded by our money.

    That money would be better spent providing genuinely affordable social housing, adequate social care for the all sections of the community who are in genuine need and in providing effective and efficient core public services.

    • Sally Parrott Reply

      November 21, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      It’s perhaps not fair to judge the success of a facility purely on the basis of its finances. One of the main reasons an Italian student organisation gives for coming to Guildford every summer is for the Spectrum.

      The Italian management feel it’s important, especially in case of bad weather, that students can exercise and have fun. They may only buy perhaps 40 tickets for Spectrum each summer, but they stay, travel, eat and shop in the town. I’m sure other groups, and families, choose Guildford for the same reason.

      When there are arguments about the need for a British monarchy, tourism is often given as an important reason. This means only that tourists are attracted to London by the presence of the monarchy, not that people pay a fee to see the Queen. I’d defend the Spectrum on the basis of indirect tourism.

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