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Joy as sports club wins rate battle

PUBLISHED: 21:00 18 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:55 05 July 2010

HIGH-profile talks between a state-of-the-art sports club and the council have reached a successful resolution.

Earlier this year, The Journal revealed how Waveney Gymnastics Club had been left reeling just over a month after it had been included in the London 2012's Pre-Games Training Camp Guide.

HIGH-profile talks between a state-of-the-art sports club and the council have reached a successful resolution.

Earlier this year, The Journal revealed how Waveney Gymnastics Club had been left reeling just over a month after it had been included in the London 2012's Pre-Games Training Camp Guide.

A controversial decision by Waveney District Council to remove the 20pc business rate relief given to a number of local sports organisations potentially would have meant that the £1.4m centre in Kirkley would have to pay nearly £8,000 a year in business rates.

Club bosses pledged to fight the plans, and they received support from Waveney MP Bob Blizzard, as they were left to contemplate a 5pc increase in fees.

But this week the gym club in Southwell Road have sent out a big thank you to the council after meetings and talks were recently held.

“Waveney Gymnastics Club are delighted to announce that following a meeting with the revenue and benefits manager for Waveney District Council, Leigh Butler, the club will not be expected to pay the 20pc discretionary rates now,” a club spokesman said.

“The decision of the rates department to support Waveney Gymnastics Club in their request to not be expected to pay the 20pc discretionary rate for the next two years is greatly appreciated.”

The club, which is a registered charity, boasts over 1,000 members - and as a not-for-profit-making organisation, all income is ploughed back into the centre.

A club spokesman said: “Any increase in expenditure for the club can only be met by passing on the charges to the parents of our youngsters and other users. The news from Mr Butler is a real relief for the club.

“We hope that Waveney Gymnastics Club and the council can continue to work in partnership beyond the next couple of years in order that the many families who have connections with the club can continue to benefit from the support of the revenue and benefits department.”

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