A PETITION has been launched to save a sports community hub in Weymouth and protect more than 20 jobs.

Campaigners are desperate to save indoor facilities at Redlands Community Sports Hub after Weymouth College confirmed it will be pulling out as operator in July 2022.

In response, a community petition has been launched by Weymouth resident and Dorset Council councillor for Radipole, Peter Barrow. It is hoped the petition will secure more than 2,000 signatures so it can be put forward to the hub's owners, Dorset Council.

READ MORENew operator poised to take over Redlands Sports Hub as Weymouth College pulls out

Dorset Echo: Redlands Sports Community Hub. Picture: Peter BarrowRedlands Sports Community Hub. Picture: Peter Barrow

Cllr Barrow, who also serves as a councillor on Weymouth Town Council, said: "It's an old building and the roof leaks.

"The hub itself was built from the ground up by volunteers and it's unfortunately never generated enough money for urgent repairs to be made.

"The argument is it's beyond economic repair, but it is possible to make profit from the facilities - there just needs to be a plan in place."

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Dorset Echo: Redlands Sports Community Hub. Picture: Peter BarrowRedlands Sports Community Hub. Picture: Peter Barrow

As previously reported, the college has been operating Redlands Community Sports Hub under a lease arrangement with Dorset Council since 2008.

But it said, after more than £2m of investment over the years and concerns over the future financial implications of running the site, it could no longer continue operations.

Active Dorset, a charity with a focus on helping people to become more active, is one of the frontrunners to take over the facilities, which would see the development and expansion of the outdoor facilities from next year.

However, no plans have been made for the indoor facilities at the hub, leading to fears for the future of three large sports halls, two squash courts, a spinning class room, a function suite - and the loss of more than 20 jobs.

"The council has an obligation to provide indoor sporting facilities to the public," said Mr Barrow.

"I would personally like to see Dorset Council help a community interest company (CIC) to take over the indoor facilities, which could be set up by members of the public.

"This could stop any closure of the indoor facilities, which I've been personally using since 1974. It truly is a hub like no other."

Weymouth College was approached to comment on any further discussions with Active Dorset to ensure all outdoor clubs and users are able to continue their bookings with no interruptions of hire.

The college and Dorset Council said there is no update at this time.

To sign the petition, visit: www.you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-redlands-community-sports-hub