Felixstowe leisure centre plans gain £20m boost in new budget

The aging Felixstowe Leisure Centre is to be replaced under �20m revamp plans by east Suffolk Counci

The aging Felixstowe Leisure Centre is to be replaced under �20m revamp plans by east Suffolk Council. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Finance chiefs in East Suffolk have budgeted £20million for a brand new leisure centre in Felixstowe.

Papers published for Monday's scrutiny committee at East Suffolk Council revealed £10m had been pledged each year for the next two years for the Felixstowe regeneration project.

It will see both the existing Felixstowe Leisure Centre and Brackenbury Leisure Centre knocked down and a brand new centre built.

The council's cabinet in September agreed a budget of £250,000 for designs and planning, and signed off on work to produce a business plan.

The capital budget allocation marks the next stage of the project becoming a reality.

Tim Snook, East Suffolk Council's leisure manager said: "When our leisure centres were first built, they gave our communities a great sense of pride.

"However, they are now aging and need updating to the standard of today and the future.

"Therefore, the council is investing in bringing a sustainable state-of-the-art facility to Felixstowe that will serve the local community and attract people from further afield."

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The two year build is set to begin in 2021.

It follows a comprehensive leisure centre improvement plan that has been underway across the district.

Revamps have already been completed at Deben Leisure Centre in Woodbridge and Leiston, at a combined cost of £7.7m, while work has begun on the £3.4m Bungay Leisure Centre improvements.

The new leisure centre in Felixstowe will include a 25m swimming pool, learner pool, six-court sports hall, 100-station gym, two dance studios, a spin studio, sauna, steam room, cafe and full sized 3G football pitch.

The cabinet report published in September said that the council "wishes to exploit the potential tourism opportunity that a new leisure centre could bring, using the centre as a 'gateway' for further activities within Felixstowe".

The capital budget is due for approval by the council's scrutiny committee on Monday, which must then go to full council for the final go-ahead.

A council spokeswoman said it would provide a 'single destination' and help attract people from the wider area too.

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