£200,000 to be spent on XC to fix weather flaw

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AROUND £200,000 will be spent to put right a design flaw that has seen an extreme sports centre frequently closed in bad weather.

The XC Centre in Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead, was built last year with funds of £5m coming from a government scheme called myplace and £250,000 from the Dacorum Sports Trust, which operates the facility.

It features climbing walls, an indoor cave network, community rooms, and a skate park.

The latter has often been fully or partially closed in wet weather due to an open wall, designed to let fresh air in, which also lets in rain blown by the wind.

Plans went before Dacorum Borough Council this week to clad the wall to prevent rain getting into the skate park, including shutters which can be opened in good weather conditions.

A spokesman for the trust said: “The works will cost around £200,000 and are being entirely funded by the trust.

“We are a charitable trust and all our profits go back into our facilities.

“We have had regular closures but only five of these were for whole days and usually only certain areas were out of use.”

Dacorum councillor Keith White said: “If you’re going to spend millions on a facility then you’ve got to get the maximum usage out of it. Clearly that wasn’t the case as £5m of taxpayers’ money was spent on the facility with a problem that could have been forseen.

“This has meant that the usage hasn’t been maximised because the design wasn’t fit for purpose.

“Having said that, I’m pleased that the trust is rectifying the problem with its own funds, but it’s a shame this position had to be reached first.”