Actress Jessica Hynes backs campaign to save Kilburn’s Charteris Sports Centre

The Spaced actress said that closing Charteris would be devastating for the community

The popular actress Jessica Hynes has made an impassioned plea to councillors not to ‘rip the heart out of our community’ by closing the popular Charteris Sports Centre.

The writer and star of the sitcom Spaced, who lives in Charteris Road, Kilburn, led a delegation to Brent town hall in a bid to save the centre, described by supporters as a ‘vital community hub’.

Ms Hynes, who has lived in Kilburn for 12 year, said: “Taking Charteris Sports Centre away is like ripping the heart out of our community.

“I am passionate about keeping community facilities open - even if we have to do it ourselves. This campaign has brought us together and started something extremely positive. It would be devastating for that to end.”

Outlining the community’s proposal to save the centre, she added: “We are thinking about a council and community partnership. We accept that the council may not be able to continue supporting it, our preferred case is that the centre is run by the community for the community, and we are confident we can come up with a plan.

“We urge the council to unlock this citizen resource and use this community to deliver services to people who really need them.

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“We are ready and willing.”

A third of children in Kilburn are obese or overweight, and life expectancy levels are the lowest in Brent.

Over 1,000 people have now signed a petition to save Charteris Sports Centre and a ‘Use it or lose it’ campaign has been launched via the ‘Save Charteris’ Facebook page.

Brent Council remains in discussions with the campaign over a possible rescue package. A final decision will be made at the end of the month, and if it votes through the proposals, the centre will close on April 1.