The future of Ladywell Arena

The Council is to dispose of its management responsibilities for Ladywell Arena and athletics track and is seeking expressions of interests from private or community groups interested in running the Ladywell Fields sports facility.

Green Ladywell quotes Lewisham as saying:

“The Council is currently out to tender for its main leisure contract which expires in mid October 2011. As part of that tender we are asking prospective leisure operators to cost the operation of the Arena along with other leisure centres. However, there has been interest from local organisations in the principle of the Arena being managed by a locally based organisation, given its specific focus on athletics and football. The Council is therefore running a parallel process and asking if there is interest from local organisations with both bidding processes ending around the same time, so giving the Council an opportunity to assess the value ( in terms of best value), of both...

The potential community lease of the Arena does include the Gym. The current cost to the Council for managing the facility is approximately £185,320 per year (this changes with GDP each year).”

Local resident Annette Lewis is attempting to put together a community bid and is organising a meeting on March 2nd, 7.30pm, St Mary's Church, Lewisham High Street. She says:

Lewisham Council has invited bids from private sports groups to take over the running of the track and gym on a 10 year lease. The Arena was opened 13 years ago with Lottery money and has recently been upgraded with public money. The track was resurfaced and the gym redecorated and disabled access improved. The Arena is currently managed by Parkwood Leisure but their contract runs out in October 2011.

A group of regular users are campaigning to keep the Arena for public use which includes free use for pensioners and reduced fees for Lewisham Passport holders including the disabled and low income groups and use of all Leisure centres run by Parkwood for one fee for members. There is a junior gym for young people and groups for wheelchair racers. All this may be lost if Lewisham Council give our Arena away.

If anyone wants to contact Annette, she can be emailed here.