Felixstowe’s new state-of-the-art 'destination facility' leisure centre will attract visitors from across a wide area – and be more profitable than the resort’s current two hubs.

The seafront leisure centre and Brackenbury Sports Centre are both nearing the end of their life and council officials are keen to reduce the huge subsidies the pair are costing taxpayers.

Officials said the centre – expected to cost £25million-plus – was the catalyst for the 2,000-home garden neighbourhood project on the northern edge of the seaside town after hopes of purchasing another site for the complex failed.

READ MORE: Bid for national funding for £25m leisure centre project

Some residents though are unhappy at the new leisure centre being earmarked for an out-of-town site near the A14 dock spur roundabout.

They feel the current site on Pier Bight means people spend locally and future users will not travel into town.

Tim Snook, East Suffolk Council’s leisure partnership development manager, said the current leisure centre had opened in 1985 and Brackenbury in 1990.

READ MORE: What will Felixstowe’s new £20million leisure complex feature?

East Anglian Daily Times: Brackenbury Leisure Centre in Felixstowe would also be replaced by the new centre, which could be built near the A14 dock spur roadBrackenbury Leisure Centre in Felixstowe would also be replaced by the new centre, which could be built near the A14 dock spur road (Image: Archant)The proposed new site will put all the facilities on one site and “make it more financially viable to operate”, doubling the catchment area and attracting users from outside Felixstowe.

He said: “At the moment we are heavily subsidising facilities and we do need to put it in an area where we can make it work as a business.

“The aim is to make the new leisure centre a ‘destination facility’. We are also looking at future growth to make sure the facilities are designed correctly and can be changed to accommodate new activities and will last for the next 40 to 60 years.”

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Design work on the new leisure centre is currently in the early stages but Mr Snook said it was likely to feature an eight-lane pool, teaching pool, five-court sports hall, two squash courts and much larger gym, along with new attractions such as climbing walls and other modern facilities.

The council had visited other facilities around the country to look at sustainable building, internal flexibility options, heating methods and so on. There was also the opportunity to create a health and wellbeing hub with a quiet café, library links and other activities.

Mr Snook told the meeting at the Orwell Hotel that outdoor recreation would also be an important element of the North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood.

READ MORE: Suffolk news

The 30-acre Eastward Ho! football pitches were under-used because the changing rooms were too far away and the site was often windy.

However, he said the council was looking at planting trees around the site to cut the wind and move the changing rooms from the Grove car park to closer to the pitches.

No decision has yet been made about the future of the Pier Bight leisure centre site – it won’t close until the new facilities are ready – while Brackenbury’s site will become housing.