Merged CVS gets involved on cue

A volunteer centre in Leicestershire has helped to save a local leisure centre by taking up residence in the building's former snooker room, writes Andy Ricketts.

Before and after: The snooker hall is now a volunteer centre
Before and after: The snooker hall is now a volunteer centre

Voluntary Action Blaby District, formed in April by the merger of Blaby Council for Voluntary Service and Volunteer Centre Blaby District, has moved into the Huncote Leisure Centre, which was recently renamed The Pavilion.

Blaby District Council, which owns the building, decided to turn some of the centre into office space and generate extra income by renting it out.

It paid £250,000 to refit the building with offices and refurbish the leisure and sporting facilities, including sunbeds, badminton courts and all-weather pitches.

The refurbished centre, which has office space in a former snooker room and meeting facilities in a converted squash court, was officially opened last month.

Andrew Ingles, chief executive of Voluntary Action Blaby District, said the centre would have faced closure if the charity hadn't moved in.

"We were operating from three premises and had been looking to move for some time," he said.

It was possible that the centre would transfer into community ownership at a later stage, Ingles added.

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