Haverhill sport and leisure facilities to get £1.5m overhaul

Haverhill Leisure Centre. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Haverhill Leisure Centre. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

Haverhill’s leisure facilities are set to get a £1.5million overhaul after funding for new facilities was approved.

Left to right: Jo Rayner, cabinet member for leisure and culture for St Edmundsbury Borough Council,

Left to right: Jo Rayner, cabinet member for leisure and culture for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Nigel Snape, manager of Haverhill Leisure Centre and Warren Smyth, chief executive, Abbeycroft Leisure. Picture: ST EDMUNDSBURY BOROUGH COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s cabinet last week agreed to allocate funding from the leisure investment fund, which will improve sporting facilities and increase the range of activities on offer in the town.

Among the new facilities will be a climbing wall, mobile Parkour experience, wellbeing suite for therapy and classes, new cafe and a soft play area.

Joanna Rayner, cabinet member for leisure and culture at St Edmundsbury Borough Council said the facilities were fundamental to health and wellbeing in the town.

She said: “Opportunities for physical activity are fundamental to the health and wellbeing of our communities and we are constantly looking for innovative ways to provide them.

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“The capital from the leisure investment fund will allow our leisure partners, Abbeycroft Leisure, to become more self-sufficient.

“Income from the upgraded facilities and new activities will contribute to the cost of the running costs of the leisure centre and reduce the amount of support by the taxpayer.”

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“We are also increasing sports capacity for Suffolk’s fourth largest town by financing an upgrade for the fantastic sports hall at Samuel Ward Academy, and providing residents, sports groups and students with opportunities for a greater range of activities through a community use agreement.”

It will also mean that St Edmundsbury will be able to reduce its management fee paid to Abbeycroft Leisure which runs the leisure centre, eventually to zero.

The programme of development will be phased to reduce disruption, with first floor development scheduled for May-September and ground floor improvements from September-December.

The current sports hall will host some of the additions while additional capacity is being negotiated with local schools to use facilities for the community.

Debbie Wilson from the Samuel Ward Academy Trust said the trust was “delighted” to be involved with its sports facilities and said they “look forward to welcoming more community and school use.”

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