Bees remain positive despite rink closure

Bracknell's John Nike Leisuresport has been closed, devastating Bees fans

Bracknell Bees say they are making “positive progress” following the devastating news their rink is to close permanently.

The JNL Bracknell Complex, operated by John Nike Leisuresport Ltd announced on Tuesday morning they would be closing, because of the hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the company announced: “In June 2020 John Nike Leisuresport Limited started statutory consultations on redundancies with employees and their elected representatives. 

“The employee representatives and John Nike Leisuresport Limited have agreed that a financially viable plan to keep the Bracknell Complex could not be found.  

“It has been decided that the complex will permanently close with immediate effect with all employees being made redundant.”

The closure has caused uncertainty over whether the club can continue to compete in the NIHL National League as they look for a new home to play out of.

Many have taken to social media to express their sadness and offer support as Bees go through a very difficult time.

Bees director Stuart Robinson spoke of his sympathy for the staff at the rink who have lost their jobs, but offered a ray of light that all is not lost for them.

In a statement on the Bees website, he said: “Primarily, we have massive sympathy for all those who have lost their livelihoods as a result of the Nike Group’s sad but understandably necessary decision in these challenging times. 

Doug Sheppard is Bracknell Bees’ coach (PHOTO: Bracknell Bees)

“We wish them, and everyone who worked so hard to try and keep the facility open well for the future.  

“It is a massive loss to the local community in Bracknell and all our “family” within the Hive. The place has given us plenty of wonderful memories over the last 33 years. 

“We’d like to thank Sue Nike in particular for her support, along those involved in the day to day running of the complex – Justin, Detty, Louise, Daniel and all others behind the scenes.  

“However, in the meantime, the Bees have been making positive progress in finding a home for the 2020/21 season and beyond and we will make further announcements shortly. 

“Whilst the Hive may have closed, the club will live on. Whilst bricks and mortar are important, this club is about people, family and community.”

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