Parking spaces reduced by fifth during work to refurbish leisure centre
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A fifth of spaces in a town centre car park could be out of action for almost a year while regeneration of a leisure centre takes place.
Work starts on transforming Woodbridge’s Deben Pool this Monday, September 4, as part of Suffolk Coastal District Council’s investment into leisure centres to get more people fit and active.
The project will cost more than £3million and last 10 months – during which time, the council’s operating partner, Places for People Leisure, said it will relocate as many staff as possible, before the new facility is expected to create more jobs in the months before it opens next summer.
Designed with Places for People and the council’s leisure development partner, Pulse Fitness, it includes a larger, newly equipped gym and a health suite with a steam room, sauna and ice room. Plans also include new changing areas, an exercise bike ‘spin room’ and a fitness studio.
During construction, 27 of the Station Road car park’s 142 spaces will be taken up by site offices and containers to store materials.
Although there will be no access to the front and left-hand side of the leisure centre, Suffolk Coastal stressed the community hall will be remain open as usual, and that access to the skatepark at the rear of the building will be unaffected.
A spokeswoman added: “During the work, there will obviously be a reduction in the number of people using the car park, as the Deben Pool will be closed, and it is hoped that the number of spaces needed for the compound will reduce as the work progresses. We will keep the public informed throughout the refurbishment process.”
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Suffolk Coastal’s investment of £2.5m was boosted by £500,000 in Sport England lottery funding.
The work is part of a five-year programme – with Deben Pool the first to be upgraded, followed by Leiston and Felixstowe, which members of the Woodbridge centre can use during the closure.
The council’s leisure chief, TJ Haworth-culf said the new facilities and equipment would come at no extra cost to taxpayers.
“A key part of our business plan focuses on increasing access to quality leisure facilities and activities as part of our commitment to getting more people fit and active,” she added.
“We hope Deben will be the ignition for our complete leisure redevelopment to create facilities our communities can be truly proud of.”
Deben Pool closes at 10pm on Thursday, August 31.