Westminster Council opens ‘fantastic’ new sports centre in Brent
No affordable homes will be built on former Jubilee Centre site
06 July, 2018 — By William McLennan
Sporting heroes joined Cllr David Harvey at the ribbon cutting
A SPORTS centre at the heart of a controversial redevelopment project has opened to the public.
The Moberly Sports Centre launched on Saturday to a mixed reception. While some welcomed the sparkling new facilities, others remembered the bitter fight to save the nearby Jubilee Sports Centre, that is to be demolished and replaced with 70 private homes as part of the deal.
The Moberly was over- hauled by developer Willmott Dixon, which is building 155 homes, nearly all of which will be sold on the private market.
The proposals were vigorously opposed by a community campaign drawn up that would have preserved the Jubilee centre.
A petition with nearly 6,000 signatures was delivered to Westminster Council, which pushed ahead with the proposals in the face of mass objections.
Westminster North Labour MP Karen Buck said that there was no denying that the new facilities were “impressive”, despite her opposition to the loss of the Jubilee centre and the refusal to provide socially-rented homes on either site.
Barbara Mayne, the for- mer head teacher of Queen’s Park Primary, had warned since 2012 that the new centre in Chamberlayne Road, which despite being owned by Westminster is in Brent, would be too far for many who had attended the Jubilee in Caird Street.
On Saturday she said she had her regular fitness class at the new centre for the first time, adding: “Twice as far away, twice as long to get there. Not happy.”
Julius Hogben, of the Save Our Jubilee Group, said: “The new Moberly Sports Centre is no compensation for Queen’s Park’s loss.”
Sports stars, including super-middleweight box- ing champion James DeGale and double gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast Max Whitlock, attended the opening, alongside Westminster’s deputy council leader Cllr David Harvey.
“We want to create opportunities for people, of all ages and backgrounds, to take part in sport,” said Cllr Harvey. “Regular physical activity is really important for your health, as well as great fun, so I hope the visit from Max and James will inspire local people to come down and make the most of these fantastic new facilities.
“Through Everyone Active we offer a huge range or activates for all abilities across the city from boxing to dancing. There really is something for everyone.”