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Fort For Sport 'In Some Way'

Jersey's sport minister says she'll encourage her colleagues to 'consider getting sport back into Fort Regent in some way'.

Deputy Lucy Stephenson's comments come after it was revealed the previous government's transformation plans have been shelved for being unaffordable.

“I welcome the decision of ministers to move away from previous plans for Fort Regent and believe it presents a fresh opportunity for us to get sport back on the agenda for discussions about the facility’s future."

Deputy Stephenson says the ambitious project unveiled in 2021 relied heavily on a casino to pay for them.

She says she wouldn't want the centre's redevelopment to be dependent on islanders spending their 'hard earned cash in a casino'.

"I do not believe there is current political or public appetite to open a casino in Jersey, especially given that such a facility would need to rely on local trade to make it profitable. However good a redevelopment of Fort Regent would be for the Island, I would not personally want to see it reliant on the people of Jersey needing to spend their hard earned cash in a casino."

The deputy says the Fort is currently not fit for purpose, but that she is listening to sports group who want some provision there, adding that there's also a need for accessible children's play facilities in a central location, including indoor soft play.

“My understanding is that ministers remain committed to agreeing a way forward for Fort Regent, but one that is realistic, affordable and sustainable. We need to find a solution which is right for Jersey

I will work to champion Fort Regent as a future community facility and encourage ministers to consider getting sport back into the Fort in some way." There are expected to be just five sports groups/concessions still based at Fort Regent by next year.  There had been 39 in 2019.

Last week, Regents Gymnastics Club told Channel 103 they had been 'left in the dark' about their expected move to Oakfield.

Deputy Stephenson told us timescales were 'directly linked to the completion of the construction of expanded facilities elsewhere'.

She has since confirmed the imminent closure of the Active Gym at Fort Regent:

“And once the Active gym at Springfield opens and the Fort one closes sport facilities staff will also move to Springfield. It is not sustainable under the current model to staff the two sites long-term.”

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