First it was golf – now indoor tennis is at threat of being dropped from the sports facilities open to the public in Kirklees.
It has emerged that Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) is considering the future of Batley Tennis Centre – the only indoor tennis courts in the borough.
Kirklees’ only municipal golf course, Bradley Park, is already threatened with closure if the council’s development blueprint, the Local Plan, is given the go ahead.
The council wants to sell the land for housing.
A campaign to save the tennis centre has now been launched by members.
A source has told the Examiner that KAL is looking to borrow £2m from Kirklees Council to redevelop the facility.
KAL has confirmed it is looking at its options but no decision has been made.
It has not given the Examiner a reason for the move or commented on claims that a children’s playgym, a football centre or a climbing wall are what is planned for the site.
The source said: “Batley Tennis Centre is unique to Kirklees – it’s four indoor courts open to the public.
“At a time when tennis is more high profile than it’s ever been, why is KAL trying to shut it down?
“We can’t just let something like this go without a fight.”
A spokesperson for KAL said: “KAL can confirm it is exploring various options for the future of the existing Tennis Centre at Batley Sports and Tennis Centre, Howden Clough, Batley.
“As a result of exploring options, KAL is progressing a borrowing route from Kirklees Council to seek to secure funding that may be used for alternative provision of part of the tennis centre.
“KAL, however, would like to reinforce that even should the funding be secured, no final decision has been made about the future of tennis provision at this site.
“In parallel to exploring a borrowing route, KAL are continuing to work closely with the Lawn Tennis Association to develop an alternative proposal to retain tennis provision at the site.
“A final decision is expected to be made within the next few months.”
Kirklees Council has confirmed it would have to approve any change to the centre.
Clr Graham Turner, Kirklees Council’s cabinet member responsible, said: “KAL manages Batley Tennis Centre but the building is owned by Kirklees Council.
“This means that any alterations to the building to accommodate a change in activity have to be approved by the Cabinet.
“KAL has been in discussion with the council about the options for the future of the centre but no decision will be taken until the autumn.
“Any decision will take into account the impact on the health and well-being of our residents.”