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Plaque honour for West Craven Sports Centre sports boss
THE ‘mastermind’ behind West Craven Sports Centre has been honoured with a plaque at the Barnoldswick venue.
Ian Mitchell, the former head of leisure services at Pendle Council, oversaw the entire project for the facility over 30 years ago.
Mr Mitchell, who died at the age of 65, was responsible for submitting funding bids for the sports centre and was then instrumental in its design and construction.
He finally saw his dream come true when the building was officially opened by Olympic swimmer David Wilkie on October 3 1981.
Phil Storey, chief executive at Pendle Leisure Trust, said: “The people of Barnoldswick desperately wanted and needed a leisure facility and Ian set out to get them one.
“He oversaw the whole project, from getting the money to build it, to its completion. He was there every step of the way. He was both determined and successful.
“The centre is without doubt the most prestigious facility Pendle Leisure Trust has and it still looks as good today as it did when it was built more than 30 years ago.
“Of everything Ian did while he was in charge of Pendle’s sports facilities, this was his proudest achievement. Now, as a mark of respect, we are unveiling a plaque so he will always be remembered.”
The family of Ian Mitchell and representatives from Pendle Leisure Trust gathered at West Craven Sports Centre on Tuesday to unveil the memorial.
Coun John David, who was chairman of leisure services for many years, said: “This is a wonderful way of honouring a man who contributed so much to leisure in Pendle.
“The plaque is an excellent way to recognise everything he did and in particular in masterminding the facility at West Craven.”