WORK to ensure Woodhall Spa’s Jubilee Park remains ‘at the heart of the community for years to come’ can begin - after East Lindsey District Council gave the official go-ahead for this popular tourist attraction to be given to the village.
This was agreed at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday and is thought to be one of the first major projects in Lincolnshire where control of local facilities have been handed over to local people.
The freehold transfer, which will take place as soon as the legal documentation is completed, will include the outdoor swimming pool, caravan park, cricket field, tennis courts, bowls lawn, play area, croquet lawn, public toilets and putting green.
Chairman of Woodhall Spa Parish Council Coun David Clarke said replacing the ailing pool tank, which ELDC has provided £705,000 for, was top of the agenda.
He said: “This now means we are ready to take over the running of Jubilee Park - something we’ve worked hard for over the past five years.
“We must ensure Jubilee Park remains at the heart of Woodhall Spa for many years to come and that it continues to be a great facility for local people and visitors to the area.
“The first thing we must do is begin the improvement programme to get the pool tank in a good condition in time for next season’s opening.”
ELDC has run Jubilee Park since the local government reorganisation in 1974 but fears it would be shut down arose during the recent recession - because it was running on a loss.
It was therefore agreed to allow the parish council to create a business plan bid for a community takeover, which was successful.
The transfer was made for just £1.
Portfolio Holder for leisure at ELDC, Coun Adam Grist, said the decision was also an investment for them at a time when the council faces a huge reduction in their Government funding of £3.4 million.
He said: “Not only does it mean Jubilee Park will soon be in the hands of local people, but it also helps the council financially moving forward.
“We’ve been working closely with Woodhall Spa representatives for a number of years and I know with their business acumen, commitment, and enthusiasm for Jubilee Park there is no reason why it shouldn’t go from strength to strength.”
ELDC has also agreed to provide funding of £220,802 over the next five years, a significant reduction compared to the current revenue investment.