THE amount of money Tesco is putting into Huddersfield’s new sports centre remains shrouded in mystery.
Kirklees Council says it won’t reveal the amount due to “commercial confidentiality.’’
This means it could be years before taxpayers find out how much they have put into the scheme – if ever.
Tesco has been given permission to build a new store on Southgate despite the concerns of some councillors over the store’s design.
The supermarket giant will pay for the old sports centre to be demolished to make way for the new store and will buy the land from the council.
This money will be put towards the proposed new £36.4m sports centre on the current Springwood car park – but Kirklees will not say how much is being pumped into the project by Tesco.
A spokesman said: “Tesco is paying the council the market value of the land. We are unable to give a figure as this would be in breach of commercial confidentiality.
“The council is paying for the design and procurement of the new sports centre. We are unable to give a figure as this would breach commercial confidentiality.’’
But he confirmed that if Kirklees pulled out of the agreement it would have to pay compensation to Tesco – but again no figure is given.
The spokesman added: “The council has entered into an agreement for the sale of land at Old Leeds Road, Huddersfield.
“If the council breaches its obligations in the agreement, the council will be liable to pay compensation.’’
Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan said of the new sports centre: “Costs to the council will be met from internal resources which has always been our intention. There is a clear need for a new sports centre as the existing facility is outdated and a liability for council taxpayers
“This overall scheme has major regeneration benefits to boost the local economy and help us meet our priority of leading Kirklees out of recession.
“Drastic cuts in government funding mean we have to reduce our budget but balance this with the need to maintain high-quality services.
“The council has a responsibility to support projects which will make a real difference to local people and make a lasting, positive impact.
“The sports centre project has many benefits in addition to regenerating key areas of the town centre.
“It will attract more visitors, promote a healthy lifestyle, deliver first-class facilities and help local residents to be active.”
The facilities within the new centre have already provoked criticism after it emerged the planned flat-green indoor bowling looks likely to be dropped from the scheme.
This has provoked outrage among hundreds of bowlers and a petition to fight the plan has already been launched by Huddersfield Indoor Bowling Club.
As the proposal stands, the sports centre will have 124 parking spaces plus a sports hall, a gym, a short distance competition pool, a teaching pool, a water area featuring a flume and sidewinder, a play zone, a cafe, a climbing wall, squash courts, a combat room, a health suite, fitness studios and a training room.