Multi-million pound revamp planned for swimming pool and sports centre
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Proposals for the multi-million pound development and refurbishment of a Suffolk leisure centre – including an extension to the existing building – is set to go before councillors next month.
Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre, in Gainsborough Road, Stowmarket, could receive a £2.2m slice of the district council's growth and efficiency fund to improve its leisure facilities.
Under new proposals, Stradbroke Pool and Fitness could also be allocated cash from Mid Suffolk District Council's current budget to transform its facilities.
Anselm Gurney, of Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre, said: "We are very excited about this proposed substantial investment into improving facilities at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre and Stradbroke Swim and Fitness Centre, as part of our already successful partnership with Mid Suffolk District Council.
"This will help achieve our objective of getting everyone active, and will also improve the quality of our customers' experience.
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"If the funds are approved, we look forward to delivering the developments for the benefit of the local community, and hope that this will form part of an extended and wider partnership with Mid Suffolk District Council in the future."
Further details about the development scheme are expected to be announced later in the year, and will depend on public support and planning approval.
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The planned works are being put forward as part of a proposed collaboration with Everyone Active, which would see the company manage leisure facilities in the district for the next 15 years.
Its current contract is due to end in September 2020, but, if agreed, a new lease could pave the way for a fresh arrangement to commence from October.
Julie Flatman, who is responsible for communities at the council, added: "I'm excited by this proposal to develop our sports and leisure infrastructure and improve fitness provision in a sustainable way, to ensure we can support the wellbeing and health of our residents over coming years.
"This investment will help our residents to remain healthy and happy whilst also achieving the aims set out in our leisure, sport and physical activity strategy.
"If proposals are approved by cabinet, the next step is to undertake an appropriate procurement process and finalise our negotiations with Everyone Active."
Discussions are already under way with Suffolk County Council, Stowmarket High School and its governing trust to consider the school's arrangements on shared land at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre, with separate conversations taking place with Suffolk Football Association around the potential for a new football facility.
Financial proposals for the new contract will be considered by cabinet at a later date.