SPORTS clubs are feeling abandoned after a leisure centre rented out two thirds of its car parking spaces to make money.

Network Rail are renting 60 of the 90 spaces available at Halo Bridge Street Sports Centre in Leominster during October while they carry out work nearby.

This has led to Leominster Town FC rushing to re-arrange and spread out fixtures to try and minimise disruption at the Bridge Street site.

“It’s horrendous when our teams have training there is nowhere for people to park with so much of it coned off," said Sharon Fellowes, club chair.

“You would expect that a leisure facility and company would be working in harmony with a large sports club almost as a partnership.

“Unfortunately this is not the case with Halo as they have decided to rent out their car park leaving the club with very limited parking facilities for their fixtures throughout October.

“We were given less than three weeks notice of Halo renting out the car park, this notice did not even include a site map to enable proper planning of where people could park, leaving a battle to rearrange league fixtures, review risk assessments and action plans with new pinch points created.

"All of this planning needs to be done by volunteers who have families and jobs on top of their commitments to Leominster Town FC.

“This is all caused by a company who pride themselves on running sport and leisure centres.”

A spokesman for Halo Leisure said that Network Rail had approached them at ‘relatively short notice’ asking to use the car parking facilities for one month.

“Within a week we had communicated with Leominster Town FC regarding the short term sharing of the car park,” said the spokesman.

“Before we agreed we certainly considered the impact on users of the centre.

“Given that there are approximately 90 spaces in the car park, with Network Rail using in the region of 60, we felt the remaining 30+ spaces would be adequate for users of the sports centre.

“As a registered charity, this unexpected revenue was also most welcome.”

The club also used to rent a room to serve teas and coffees but have had to stop this after the rental charge increased and they have started to be charged for an outdoor store which was built before the sports centre was opened.

Halo state they worked with the club to identify their future meeting and storage needs and presented them with a number of options within their budget.