(P130) Positive way forward for National Sports Centre

London Borough of Bromley, News release - 28th November 2003

The Council's Executive has met to consider the Mayor's response to the suggestion made at a recent meeting to consider transferring the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre to the Greater London Authority. If this suggestion proves possible concerns over funding to modernise the centre can now be addressed. 

The Council, the Mayor and Sport England will now explore the legal and practical implications of the suggestion as a resolution would also allow work to replace the track to proceed.

With the personal commitment of the Mayor to carry through the transfer of ownership successfully and speedily, it should now be possible for Sport England and the Mayor to ensure that the Athletics Grand Prix takes place in the summer, despite the end of the existing lease in March.

The Council is pleased that the Mayor has recognised the need to lift the threat of closure created by Sport England's decision not to renew the lease. It welcomes his keenness to progress the comprehensive modernisation programme developed by the public sector stakeholder group that includes the Department of Culture Media and Sport, Government Office for London, Sport England, English Heritage, the Mayor, the LDA and Bromley Council.

The Council is also pleased with the Mayor's continued support for the extension of Croydon Tramlink together with improvements to the East London Line to Crystal Palace.

Users of the centre have been very vocal in their concerns over the future of the centre. We will seek to ensure that the proposals affecting the ownership of the centre will reflect local needs in the modernisation scheme and minimise disruption.

The Leader of Bromley, Councillor Russell Mellor said, "This potentially is a very good step forwards for sport and for Crystal Palace. Our position has always been that the funding required to modernise the centre was beyond the means of a single local authority and that it should be addressed by national and regional government. Although we still have some concerns over various service, legal and technical issues this could be the best news we have had for sport at the Palace in the last five years. We also want to ensure that the views of current sports users are effectively represented."

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28/11/03 Last updated 28/11/03