“Save the Rec” petition pushes for non-profits back in leisure centres

A local campaign has been targeted at Salford Council regarding the decision to give space in leisure centres back to for-profit companies. 

The “Save the Rec” petition, managed by community figure Nick Burke, has targeted two buildings that he and his colleagues feel have been unfairly managed by the council. 

The Hub and Salford Gymnastics Centre, also referred to as “The Rec,” have been the primary targets of the petition. 

Speaking on the issues with the facilities, Burke added: 

“So our problem is quite simple. In both buildings, non-profit organisations are serving the community. There are also now commercial businesses that are not required to pay rent and have the building for free.”

“So basically, what you have is taxpayers paying for companies like Salford Trampolining Club to stay in that building and make a profit.”

“What we want is for the council to return those spaces to non-profit organisations, or at the very least charge them commercial rates to be in that building. It’s not fair that non-profit organisations are charged and they are not. It makes no sense.”

Since 2011, the petition claims £2.5 million in community assets has been given to for-profit companies. 

In the case of the modern Hub facility in Higher Broughton, the petition argues that the Trampoline Club has had a multi-million-pound facility added, which requires them to pay no rent and make a profit off members. 

Nick Burke and other members who support the petition have voiced their issues with the local councillor, John Merry.

In conversation, Burke claims that they have listened but have “not engaged with anything at the moment.”

When approached for comment, the council did not respond.

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