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Costly repairs to take weeks after Dukeries Leisure Centre, New Ollerton, damaged in act of vandalism

A leisure centre remains closed after an “act of mindless vandalism” saw tens of thousands of pounds of damage caused to the facility.

Dukeries Leisure Centre was targeted in the early hours of Sunday, June 22, causing significant damage to the site, which is owned by Newark and Sherwood District Council and operated by Active4Today.

A 15-year-old girl has since been arrested and released on bail by Nottinghamshire Police, on suspicion of of burglary and criminal damage.

Vandalism at Dukeries Leisure Centre. Photo: Active4Today via Facebook
Vandalism at Dukeries Leisure Centre. Photo: Active4Today via Facebook

The leisure centre will remain closed until tomorrow (June 26) while it is made safe for users — and people can access sports and fitness at Active4Today’s other sites in Newark, Southwell and Blidworth during this closure.

Full repairs are expected to take a number of weeks.

Andy Carolan, managing director of Active4Today, said: “We believe this is a random act of mindless vandalism, which Active4Today are now working hard to make good, so we can re-open as soon as we can.

“The extent of the damage is very significant and, whilst it is too early to put an exact figure on the damage, we understand that the repairs to rectify the problems will run into tens of thousands of pounds.

Dukeries Leisure Centre. Credit: Google Maps
Dukeries Leisure Centre. Credit: Google Maps

“Whilst we are already working on making the centre safe and starting the work on repairs, it will be several weeks until the full repairs will actually be completed, as bespoke glass and frames will have to be made and ordered for some of the more specialist environments, like the swimming pool.

“Active4Today is very disappointed for the community of Ollerton and the surrounding areas, as closure of the leisure centre, is expected to continue until Wednesday 26th June; groups will miss out including school swimming and our disabled users. In addition, many children will miss swimming lessons, gymnastics and trampoline classes and many adults will miss swimming, classes and the fitness suite.

“We would like to reassure our customers that we are working hard to rectify this problem and we ask that customers please keep looking at our webpage and social media for the latest updates.”

Suzanne Shead, director of housing, health and wellbeing at Newark and Sherwood District Council, added: “We are really saddened and disappointed that some irresponsible individuals vandalised the Dukeries Leisure Centre in the early hours of Sunday morning by smashing several windows.

“This is an ongoing investigation and, we and our partners Active4Today are working closely with Nottinghamshire Police to establish what happened and who these individuals are. We are also continuing to support Active4Today as they work to reopen the Centre safely and begin the process of repairing the damage.

“We know what an important facility the Dukeries Leisure Centre is to many people, and we are disappointed for our local community that the actions of a few have spoiled it for the rest of our residents.”

Anyone with additional information about the incident should call the police on 101, quoting incident 130 of June 23, 2024.

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