The closure of The Edge on July 1 had dire consequences for neighbouring Woolmer Hill School, which depends on the leisure centre for its indoor and outdoor sporting facilities as part of the dual-use agreement that saw The Edge built in 1999.
But while the sporting clubs that use the centre out of school hours are unlikely to be invited back before September at the earliest, Surrey County Council has allowed Woolmer Hill to carry on using the facility to ensure “continuity” until the end of term.
There have been suggestions the Weydon Multi Academy Trust (MAT), which runs the school, has expressed an interest in taking on the lease of the leisure centre long-term.
But John Winter, chief executive of the MAT, says the trust’s only vested interest is as the centre’s main user and insists it has no power over who uses The Edge – despite receiving phone calls from concerned users and members of the public in recent weeks.
“People need to go to Surrey to ask ‘what’s happening’, not us, because it’s their responsibility,” he said.
“It’s a very complicated issue and I don’t think Waverley and Surrey are finding it easy to unravel it. But they won’t close it as the school has got to have an indoor sports facility.
“Everything is on the table, but we genuinely don’t know yet what the future is for The Edge. We’ve got a set of keys to use between 8am and 6pm, and we have no reason not to believe that in September we’ll have a similar arrangement.
“But that’s as far as our involvement goes at the moment. Like everyone else, we’re in the dark.”
Chris Grimes, chairman of Sport Haslemere, launched a petition to ‘Protect The Edge Leisure Centre’ on June 16 – and it has already received more than 2,500 signatures.