Park athletics stadium saved thanks to parks department

A council-run athletics stadium threatened with closure because of budget cuts will now stay open, after a parks team found other ways to save money.

Herringthorpe Athletics Stadium in Rotherham, Yorkshire, has been operating on reduced opening hours until alternative methods of management could be considered.

David Burton, director of street pride for the council, said: "The council’s leisure and green spaces team have worked hard to develop the services it provides. As a result of this we believe savings can be made from changes in how the budget is managed and from extra income generated."

"We have looked at alternative management arrangements, and whilst there has been some interest, there haven’t been any viable long term solutions. The impact of closing the stadium would be a great loss to all who use it and would seriously affect the development of sport, and in particular athletics, for people in the borough."

The stadium has seen a small increase in income and has the potential to raise more funds. There is also potential funding from organisations such as Sport England and the Football Association which might support future improvements.

Rotherham Harriers Athletics Club, based at the stadium, welcomed the news.

Club secretary Steve Gaines said: "This is great news for everyone at the club and for the local community. There are no other running tracks in the borough so to lose this facility would seriously damage the opportunities for people to take up what is one of the UK's most successful sporting activities."

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