Medway Park project "still on course"
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Medway Park project "still on course"

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Medway Council has denied reports that the Medway Park sports centre project in Gillingham could be under threat due to a funding shortage.

Local media speculation claimed that "urgent talks" were taking place over an alleged £5m shortfall in government cash for the £11m project.

A spokesperson for the council told Leisure Opportunities that the shortfall in the government funding would not threaten the project.

"The funding for Medway Park the project is ring-fenced," he said. "The council has secured an allocation of £28m of regeneration funding from Communities and Local Government for 2008-11.

"Prior to that, a further £5m of government funding was agreed for Medway Park."

The new facility will replace the existing Black Lion leisure centre and will boast an eight-lane athletics track, a purpose-built gymnastics centre and a specialist centre for sports therapy and sports science support, in conjunction with the University of Kent.

There will also be a martial arts centre, a health and fitness suite and a sports hall with spectator seating. The existing swimming pool will also be upgraded and disabled access will be improved.

Surrey-based Wates Group has been appointed as project manager and the centre, which will be developed in phases, is expected to open fully to the public in 2010.

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Medway Council has denied reports that the Medway Park sports centre project in Gillingham could be under threat due to a funding shortage.
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