Council leader brings an end to Glenrothes sports centre naming saga

The leader of Fife Council has put an end to the row over the naming of the new Glenrothes sports centre.

Councillor Alex Rowley confirmed that the new £21 million facility will be called ‘The Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre’, in memory of the former SNP councillor who lost a long battle with cancer in 2008.

Mr Rowley’s predecessor, the SNP councillor Peter Grant, last year came under fire for backing the name despite a public vote favouring the title ‘Glenrothes Sports and Leisure Centre’, and following the elections there was speculation the new administration would reconsider the issue of what to call the replacement for Fife Institute for Recreational and Physical Education.

However, following a visit to the construction site, Mr Rowley said: ”This centre is tremendously important to the people of the town and because of this I want to end speculation and confirm that the name of the facility will be ‘The Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre’.

”This has been an emotive issue for a great many people and the way the naming process was dealt with caused much concern, but I believe it’s now time to draw a line under the continued speculation about the name so we can move forward.

”The focus should be on the benefits the new centre will bring to the community. Further uncertainty on this subject will only detract from these positive benefits and cause potential distress to the Woods family.

”It’s time for everyone to get behind the new facility and help champion this new centre for the town.”

Mr Grant warmly welcomed the decision.

”I know not everyone agreed with the original decision but there’s a time to accept that a decision has been made and to put disagreements behind us,” he told The Courier.

”Allowing the arguments to continue would have been damaging to the new centre and to the town and I commend the action taken by the leader of the administration to draw a line under this.

”I hope we can all now work together with Fife Sports and Leisure Trust and other key players to make sure we deliver the world-class facilities Glenrothes deserves.”