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Bidders sought for burnt remains of Fleet Leisure and Sports Club

PUBLISHED: 13:59 02 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:01 02 October 2017

The charred remains of Fleet Leisure and Sports Club. Credit: Andrew Perry

The charred remains of Fleet Leisure and Sports Club. Credit: Andrew Perry

Archant

The abandoned leisure centre was destroyed in a fire over the summer

Bids for the burnt out remains of a Northfleet leisure centre to be restored are now being accepted.

Less than two months after fire destroyed the former site of Fleet Leisure and Sports Club, Gravesham council has gone to tender on the site, meaning businesses can put their names forward to develop on the land.

One of the conditions to take over the lease for the land is that a development “must be sports based and include football related activities as well as other complementary activities and facilities.”

In its prospectus for potential investors, the council has reiterated the 11-acres of football pitches and changing rooms must be used “for some form of recreational use and not housing.”

Before it was ravaged by a suspicious fire on August 23, the former leisure centre had been left abandoned since 2013 when former lease holder Fleet Leisure Ltd went into administration.

In 2015, Gravesham council bought the lease back from Lloyds Bank, but with the council unable to spend the necessary funds on refurbishment works, the site has laid empty.

A spokesperson from the council said: “The council is looking for innovative and exciting proposals for the site development that will address not only the site’s use but also the development of the local community

“The council is offering a long term lease of up to 50 years plus an option to end for a further 50 years to organisations of consortia of organisations to invest, devleop and manage the facilities.”

Any firm wishing to take over the site would have to cover the cost repairs, with the council say it will “not be providing any revenue or capital funding.”

Applications are being accepted until October 30, with a preferred bidder being announced in March and a formal contract starting in May.

Kent Police branded the fire as suspicious when it broke out six weeks ago, and has since appealed for witnesses to come forward with any information.

A spokesperson from the force confirmed enquiries into the cause of the fire are ongoing, though no arrests have ben made so far.

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