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September 10, 2014 at 9:35 pm #8208AnonymousGuest
U3A members may be aware that changes are being planned for Neyland Athletic Club but may not have a complete picture.
First of all, a bit of background; Neyland Athletic Club is owned by Neyland Rugby Club and Neyland Cricket Club. During the last year there have been changes to the administration of the building; Debbie and Martin have been replaced by Brian, and more has been done to improve the building in the last year than was done in the previous ten years. More importantly the Neyland Athletic Club Committee was replaced by a 5 man Executive Committee. This committee is made of 2 cricket representatives (one of whom is Councillor Paul Miller), 2 rugby representatives and an elected (at 2 AGM's) member who represents Neyland Football Club. The purpose of the Executive Committee, other than the administration of the club, is to put in operation a plan to build a new Sports and Community Hall.
Part of this plan is to apply for and set up a limited company to run the old/new buildings; the name being suggested is the Neyland Community (and?) Sports Hall. As part of the preparation to apply for funding the Executive Committee have hired Landsker Solutions to prepare and distribute a survey asking if people want a new building. Those of you who attended the U3A monthly meeting will have seen 2 representatives of Landsker. When asked how they intended to distribute the survey to the “community” of Neyland there were blank faces although they did say they were prepared to leave some copies in local shops.
I urge U3A members to fill in the survey form because U3A is a significant user of Neyland Athletic Club but as you do ask yourself some questions.
Is the current building fit for purpose? It looks tired but a lot less so than it did a year ago. There are some issues with the roof and there are areas of damp that need dealing with. It should be possible for the new community company to apply for grants to deal with the problems.
A new building sounds very attractive. However, there are only outline plans made so far and they show that the non-sport elements of the building will be on 2 floors which will require a lift. The estimate being suggested for the new building is 1 to 2 million with part of that cost being recouped from selling the current building for development. There is no indication that the budget would provide the number and range of rooms that are currently available. There would also be parking issues, as the proposed building would be on one of the parking areas.
As U3A members we should be prepared to pay a more realistic price for our use of the NAC but in a new building there would be enormous pressure to put the prices up to prohibitive levels.
Please fill in the survey and make your views known.
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