TEME Leisure, which operate Bishops Castle’s SpArC sports and leisure centre, has served notice to end its lease from March 31, 2020, a packed public meeting in the town was told last week.

The centre will revert to being operated by Shropshire Council (SC) and the jobs of all the staff at SpArC are guaranteed.

The council dropped the bombshell notification at the meeting held at the SpArC on Wednesday night, June 12, when executive director of place for SC Mark Barrow, along with other senior council officers, outlined the plans for the future of the SpArC centre.

The council already directly operates leisure centres at Much Wenlock, Idsall and Roman Road in Shrewsbury, and say it sees SpArC as having the potential for significant development as a vibrant centre supporting communities across south west Shropshire.

“There were no further details, especially no financial plan, so much is still unknown, but it is hoped that the business plan created by the SpArC charity will be of use in the undoubtedly complex process which will follow. However there was a most positive vibe throughout the meeting which bodes well for the future and the involvement of the local community in developing the centre.

“The audience had the opportunity to ask questions of both Shropshire Council and the SpArC trustees and did so with enthusiasm.

“There was overwhelming support for the theatre and the positive impact it has on the community with much praise for the accessible film screening held monthly,” said a spokesman for the trustees.

SC and the trustees are keen to get views on how the SpArC centre should develop in the future. A short questionnaire is available which can be collected from the library, Town Hall and Enterprise House, which must be returned by Monday, June 24.

Individuals and groups which use the SpArC are being urged to take part.

SC provides an £80,000 annual subsidy towards SpArC, which will run up until 2020.