March 11 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Ipswich Borough Council is to demolish the clubhouse at Ransomes’ Sports Club because it is beyond repair.
The borough has owned the sports ground since 1995, but only took over its management in November after a long dispute with the club management.
They were aware that the clubhouse needed work, but an initial survey showed it was in a worse state than originally feared and it was immediately closed on safety grounds.
A full survey has now been carried out, and this confirmed that the 1960s-built clubhouse was beyond repair and would have to be demolished.
The borough has put aside money in next year’s budget to allow the construction of a new sports pavilion on the site, complete with changing facilities and a club room.
They are also inviting clubs that use the ground to add more money, possibly from other sources, to enable a better building to go up.
Bryony Rudkin, the council’s executive member for leisure, said: “We have looked at all the options, but the building was allowed to deteriorate to such a state that there is nothing that can be done to fix it.
“We have put money aside to build a sports pavilion, but that would be much smaller than the clubhouse.
“There would be no bar, but there would be a club room for small functions.
“We are inviting the clubs to consider raising funds to enable it to be rather better than we could build on our own, but we aren’t looking at developing another clubhouse like the one that will have to come down.”
Clubs that used the existing building had moved to other council sports centres – many of their members travelled by car anyway so it was not difficult for them to relocate.
Temporary changing rooms have been delivered to the ground, and should be open within the next few weeks.
However the timetable for the demolition of the clubhouse and the construction of the pavilion has not been established.
Mrs Rudkin said: “We are talking to the clubs because we want to avoid disrupting their fixtures as much as possible.
“Clearly demolition work would require the closure of part of the grounds while it takes place on safety grounds – but we are keen to get things started as soon as possible.”