Clowne is on the up

ARC Centre, cllr Mary Dooley
ARC Centre, cllr Mary Dooley

“These are exciting times for Clowne - it is an up-and-coming town.”

Councillor Mary Dooley, deputy leader of Bolsover District Council, radiated optimism as she talked about boosting employment, new builds, housing improvements and regenerating the area.

New jobs are in the offing at a £4m leisure facility which is currently being built alongside Clowne Sports Centre and includes a showpiece pool.

But the development spells the end of Creswell Swimming Pool which costs the council £160,000 a year to subsidise, requires £300,000 of repairs over the next five years and has no land for expansion to attract more income.

Coun Dooley said: “There will be no job losses through the closure of Creswell - all the jobs from there will be transferred to the bigger facility at Clowne.

“There is an exciting project planned for the leisure centre which will enhance the whole community of Creswell.”

As the cabinet member for leisure, Coun Dooley has campaigned long and hard for the new facility at Clowne. She said: “We’ve wanted to do this for nearly three years. Our residents deserve the best. It’s a boost to all the district and quality of life.”

Primarily aimed at the 60,000 people who live within a 12-mile drive of the town, it is hoped that the centre will be self-financing within 20 years.

The cost of building the leisure complex is being met through council reserves and borrowing.

Housing development is also on the radar for Clowne and Creswell, with plans to build 100 energy-efficient homes over the next four years.

Council houses across the district are currently being upgraded with 84 properties in Clowne being re-roofed and 38 of those benefiting from external wall insulation.

Bringing redundant buildings back into use is also a key priority for the district council. This could revitalise large buildings like the boarded-up miners welfare and Crown Inn which stand at the gateway to Clowne. Coun Dooley said: “We want to see them up and running and not derelict.”