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Brandon Leisure Centre set for £1.9m refurbishment

PUBLISHED: 19:00 30 September 2020

Brandon Leisure Centre is in line for a £1.9m upgrade subject to West Suffolk Council cabinet approval. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Brandon Leisure Centre is in line for a £1.9m upgrade subject to West Suffolk Council cabinet approval. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC © 2010

Plans for a £1.9million upgrade of Brandon Leisure Centre are set to get the green light next week.

West Suffolk Council cabinet member for leisure and communities Jo Rayner. Picture: PHIL MORLEYWest Suffolk Council cabinet member for leisure and communities Jo Rayner. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

West Suffolk Council’s cabinet is recommended to approve the project on Tuesday, October 6, to commit £1.6m from its leisure investment fund for the sports centre’s revamp, and a further £300,000 from the growth fund to develop rentable space for community health workers.

MORE: £1.8m Newmarket Leisure Centre upgrade begins

The improvements will include an improved cafe and waiting area, a relocation of the gym, a new purpose-built free weights space, new studio and better toilets and changing rooms.

Warren Smith, chief executive of Abbeycroft Leisure which runs West Suffolk Council’s five leisure centres, said: “As a not for profit social enterprise we inspire healthier active communities through excellent facilities and services, great experiences and strong partnerships.

“This project has Brandon residents’ health at its heart and we know from collaborations in other places this can truly motivate people to do something that has a positive impact on wellbeing.”

The planned upgrade represents the latest in a series of improvements to the council’s sports centres, following a £1.6m revamp of Haverhill Leisure Centre two years ago, and the recent work at Newmarket Leisure Centre costing £1.8m.

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In Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall, the ‘hub’ plans will feature brand new sports facilities.

It is part of an ambition to create ‘wellbeing hubs’ combining sports and health facilities, while the Mildenhall Hub and Western Way Hub are also expected to feature other key public services such as councils, police and Citizens Advice.

Councillor Jo Rayner, West Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for leisure, culture and community hubs, said work consulting people in Brandon has been ongoing since 2017.

“One of our priorities is for healthy, active families and communities which we help achieve through providing opportunities to be active,” she said.

“I believe the last few months have raised awareness of the importance of looking after our health.

MORE: Western Way hub gets planning approval

“Certainly national research confirms that people are planning to use Covid-secure leisure facilities, perhaps even more so with shorter days allowing less outside exercise.”

Work on the elements that do not require planning permission is expected to begin in November, with a planning application on the rest of the work to be submitted by the end of October.

The project is anticipated for completion in September 2021.


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