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Friday, 31 October 2014

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GSK bosses vow to stand by pledges on Ulverston sports club

BOSSES behind GSK’s £350m development in Ulverston say they are committed to replacing the site’s existing sports facilities.

GSK unveiled its masterplan for the site last week and revealed that the plans for the new biopharm facility include the proposed replacement of the site’s Sports and Social Club in North Lonsdale Road.

The club has around 1,500 members, made up of GSK employees and members of the wider community.

The first phase of the development will include the construction of a production facility, to be built between 2015 and 2021, followed by a new sports hall, football pitches and bowling green as part of the second phase.

However, members of the club have expressed concerns over the company’s commitment to the new facilities, and worry that the existing sports club will “not survive” until 2021 without significant maintenance work.

Barry Collins, a former GSK employee who is a member of the sports club, told the Evening Mail: “The existing facilities need some TLC. There will need to be some significant maintenance work done if the sports club is to survive until at least 2021 when the company says it intends to build a new centre.”

But GSK bosses have stressed that the masterplan for the new development does include provision for the new sports centre and have vowed to continue supporting the existing facilities financially.

Pat McIver, biopharm site lead for GSK in Ulverston, said the company was committed to investing in the upkeep of the existing facilities until GSK was ready to progress to the second phase of construction and replace the sports centre.

He said: “When we are ready to develop the second phase we will relocate the sports centre and we will provide replacement facilities.

“We are committed to looking at what will need to be done to maintain and improve the existing facilities. We don’t want a facility that isn’t safe and that people don’t want to use.”

GSK was also keen to address fears that the sports centre’s future was in any doubt.

“People should not be concerned that they will lose their sports facilities,” Mr McIver added.

Detailed plans of the new biopharm facility will go on display at the Sports and Social Club from 5pm to 8pm on Wednesday and at the sports club from noon until 4pm on Saturday.

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