CAMPAIGNERS took to the High Street over the weekend to collect signatures for a petition, urging Bromsgrove District Council to find a solution to the sports hall conundrum.

The future of a sports hall in Bromsgrove fell into doubt last month after availability to share North Bromsgrove High School’s hall reduced by 12 weeks due to the school needing the facility during the GCSE exam period.

A report is being drawn up to consider alternatives and campaigners from ‘Save Our Sports Hall’ say the council must ensure the town's residents are provided with a suitable hall.

Campaigner Louise Humphries, who was one of those collecting signatures in Bromsgrove on Saturday, December 12, said: “We were out on the high street today to raise awareness of the situation with the sports hall and to keep the pressure on the council to provide one.

“We had amazing support from the people Bromsgrove, much better than we ever expected. At times there were people queuing to sign the petition.

“Today really showed Bromsgrove needs and wants a sports hall.”

The campaign group first formed after a sports hall was not incorporated in the plans for the new leisure centre, which opened at a cost of £13.7 million last week.

Campaigners say the demolition of the sports hall would break up valuable community groups who met at the Dolphin Centre, and affect businesses which run using the sports hall.

The matter was put on the agenda as an emergency item by Labour councillor Chris Bloore at last Monday’s Overview and Scrutiny meeting.

Cllr Michael Thompson said: “Christopher Bloore and I have been ardent supporters of the Save Our Sports Hall campaign. We have petitioned and leafleted endlessly about the pitfalls of this project.

“Two years ago I used my place on the Audit, Standards and Governance Committee to request that the social and financial risk of demolishing the sports hall be considered fully by the council.

“Sadly, the request was never taken forward by Tory Cllr Roger Smith, who was chairing the committee at the time.

“It is very sad that it has taken this long for the Tories to now consider our plea and that of Bromsgrove residents - please do not demolish our sports hall.”

A council spokesman added: “The school needs to leave the tables out for the exam period which reduces the availability by 12 weeks from what was originally agreed.

“Councillors have asked for an options report to be produced and that will be put to them in due course.”