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Belvedere Splash Park to close unless someone takes it over

PUBLISHED: 10:11 14 July 2015 | UPDATED: 10:11 14 July 2015

Belvedere Splash Park

Belvedere Splash Park

Archant

Council says park is too expensive

BELVEDERE Splash Park will close unless volunteers take it over out of the goodness of their hearts.

Bexley Council says it is too expensive to keep the pool open, and that it will turn it into a play area unless it receives “serious proposals” from private or community groups interested in running it.

A report last month highlighted concerns over hygiene at the park and outdated equipment, but nonetheless it remains hugely popular.

The council will make the official announcement at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, and issue an open invitation for people interested in taking the park over to submit their proposals.

Cabinet member for leisure Peter Craske said: “This isn’t an easy decision to take. No one wants to see the splash park closed, but we really have little choice.

“The expert report is clear. The costs needed to keep the splash park running are too high in this exceptionally challenging financial climate.

“We cannot justify spending our council taxpayers’ money in this way when we are having to make savings on so many other services.

“We know many people love the park, and that’s why we are giving organisations the chance to put forward a serious business case.”

The report estimated that to keep the park going, the council would need to make an initial outlay of anywhere between £175,000 and £380,000, with at least an additional £35,000 each year for maintenance.

However, turning it into a play area would still cost between £150,000 and £200,000, with annual maintenance costs of £10,000.

The final decision on the splash park’s future will be made in the winter.

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