YEADON’S sailing centre could be taken over as a Community Asset to ensure its survival.

The Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre at Yeadon Tarn is one of a number of local facilities that are at risk of closure under plans being considered by Leeds City Council.

The local authority is proposing a range of cuts, to be considered by its Executive Board on Wednesday, October 21, to help it overcome a multi-million shortfall in its budget for 2021-22.

The closure of the sailing centre, should it proceed - all of the proposed cuts are subject to consultations - would lead to savings of about £88,000 in the year ahead.

The report going to the Executive Board says that the facility’s building ‘could be converted to a café and/or transferred to a local organisation to operate’, though not as a sailing centre.

MP Alex Sobel has now written to the city council to ask if the centre can be taken over by the community.

He said: “We are actively seeking a Community Asset Transfer to bring the sailing centre into community ownership if the council are unable to continue to run it as a council facility.

“The sailing centre is far too great an asset to lose. Not only is it an important facility for the people of Yeadon but also the whole of Leeds and West Yorkshire, offering such facilities as sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding, along with courses for schools, youth and community groups.

“Whilst I understand that, sadly, cuts must be made due to a £120 million hole in the budget due to lack of funding from central government - on top of over ten years of brutal Tory cuts and lack of government support during the pandemic - we must explore all options to keep such valuable community places open.

“The sailing centre has a great vision and mission of making Leeds the city to be active in and passionate about enabling active and thriving communities, these are values we need to keep going. I hope the ward councillors join me exploring every opportunity to save the centre.”

The Otley and Yeadon ward’s three Lib Dem Councillors Sandy Lay, Ryk Downes and Colin Campbell all condemned the proposal when it was revealed last week.

Cllr Downes said: “I have recently been working with Yeadon sailing centre about moving forward with a public cafe at Yeadon Tarn, within the centre. At no point was the potential of closure discussed.

“The facility is a great way for young people to learn sailing and my own daughters have benefitted in the past from the excellent staff and facilities there.

“To remove such a great and well used facility is reducing options for young people - we need to find more outdoor physical activities for people, not reduce them.”