Felixstowe: Major revamp could reshape town’s sports and leisure centres

Felixstowe Leisure Centre.

Felixstowe Leisure Centre. - Credit: Archant

BOTH Felixstowe’s sports and leisure centres could be demolished to make way for a multi-million pound new state-of-the-art complex for the resort, it was revealed today.

Brackenbury Sports Centre at Felixstowe.

Brackenbury Sports Centre at Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

Secret discussions are taking place at Suffolk Coastal council on a range of options for long-term future sports provision in the seaside town.

Town councillors were told it was understood one of the options to be considered would be the demolition of Brackenbury Sports Centre and Felixstowe Leisure Centre.

The Brackenbury site in High Road East could then be sold for housing to help with the multi-million pound cost of a new combined swimming pool and sports complex, possibly built on the leisure centre site on the seafront.

Councillors were told the ideas for the buildings – both less than 30 years old – were understood to be in the very early stages and part of a strategic review looking at the whole of Suffolk Coastal’s leisure facilities.

Town and district councillor Michael Sharman said he had been told the idea of demolishing the two centres was being looked at “very seriously”.

He said: “My worry is that the town council will not be invited to have an input on what would be a very dramatic change to this community because we have got past experience now with what happened with the south seafront park, Spa Pavilion and sports hubs, where we were not consulted.

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“Talking to Felixstowe Futures will not be good enough. The town council needs to be sat round the table giving advice and real input. I feel very strongly about this and we must keep a careful eye on it.”

Suffolk Coastal deputy leader Andy Smith said a number of options would be looked at but the issue was very much part of a long-term exercise and he was absolutely certain there would be full consultation once the review was under way.

A Suffolk Coastal spokesman said cabinet had not yet even met to agree the next steps with the proposed procurement process for the management of its leisure services and someone to become its leisure development partner.

He said: “It is far too early to speculate about what may or may not happen. If agreed, we will be looking to get experienced experts in to work with us and our commmunities to come up with options for building our district’s leisure services for the future and the ideas and thoughts of Felixstowe Town Council will doubtlessly play their part in that process which will probably take at least two years.”

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