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Wilson: Try to find funds to save Sandys 360

Save the centre: Opposition MP Kim Wilson has called on the Bermuda Government to invest in Sandys 360 (File photograph)

Opposition MP Kim Wilson has urged the Bermuda Government to make efforts to save the closed Sandys 360 Sports Centre.

Speaking during the House of Assembly’s Motion to Adjourn on Friday, Ms Wilson called on the Government to look into ways it could help to bring Sandys 360 back into operation.

“The building is starting to become vandalised because it has remained empty for the last couple of years,” she said. “It was never a government initiative, but we have seen historically where Government has paid for buildings or land for schools and giving that land to the school.”

She suggested an investment of less than $10 million would get the facility up and running again, asking the Government to consider a public-private partnership, a grant or a loan guarantee, adding: “I would hope and implore the Government to look at some options or come up with their own options to find the resources needed to save Sandys 360.

“I would certainly hope that they show the same level of commitment to Sandys 360 as they have to international business, as they have to the America’s Cup.”

The $10 million facility was opened in 2009, with the Government pledging $1 million towards the construction.

The facility was given a $2 million grant in 2012, but a second $2 million grant was put on hold in November 2013 after financial issues came to light.

The Auditor-General revealed in a report last month that the centre received a duplicate payment of $807,000 in 2012 that had not been recovered.

Sandys 360 closed in 2013. The Government has continued to provide limited funds to keep the pool water circulating.