Calls For Le Rocquier Sports Investment

Credit: Danrok/Wikimedia Commons

Le Rocquier's sports facilities and outdoor pitches are at the centre of two amendments calling for the government's attention.

Both Deputy Steve Luce and the Children and Education Scrutiny Panel want to see a focus on delivering the sports facilities to the east of the island.

In 2021, a mixed-use sport and wellbeing hub was proposed at Le Rocquier as part of £100m plans for new sports facilities by UK consultants.

Committing to providing new sport and wellbeing facilities at Le Rocquier by 2025 was one of the requests Jersey Sport made of ministers last spring.

Funding of £4.7 million was approved in the previous Government Plan (2021-2024)

The scrutiny panel is calling for that to be reviewed and the project reprioritised, saying its scope has been reduced.

It says a full demolition and rebuild of the sports hall has become 'an extension and refurbishment', and that community use of the facility has disappeared from the plans, so that it would seem to be for solely for school-use.

The panel is highlighting what is says is a lack of transparency and explanation, and it wants to bring the project firmly back to the attention of States Members.

Meanwhile Deputy Luce has lodged his own, more ambitious, amendment concerning Le Rocquier's sports facilities, adding an extra £3m to the budget in 2024.

"The age and condition of the existing facilities are well beyond the expected lifespan, and a recent survey has identified significant capital investment is required just to keep the doors open. In other words, we cannot continue as we are."

He says the 1970s block is in a dangerous condition and do not meet basic standards and the current disability law.

But he believes the project - done properly  - requires an even greater investment:

"What is required is £29.8m (spent over 3 years) and that a point would provide proper facilities."

Deputy Luce argues that the eastern parishes desperately need more and better sports facilities.

"What is required for the project at Le Rocquier is as follows. £7.67m in 2024, £11.1m in 2025, and £10.9m to complete the project in 2026.

Members will be rightly asking “what would the project deliver for that money?”.

The answer is a Sports Hall (big enough for eight badminton/netball courts), a fitness gym, a multi-purpose studio, changing rooms, classrooms, PE staff accommodation, and finally a dance studio and outdoors a full-size football pitch and two netball courts. This is not a “nice to have” list, it is an absolute necessity to provide the basic requirements for La Rocquier School and the east of the Island. Fort Regent is no longer an option…. we need to provide these facilities elsewhere."

The amendments to the Government Plan will be debated by the States Assembly during the week of 11 December.

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