Plans have been revealed for a proposed new £40 million replacement for Bury St Edmunds leisure centre.
The new state-of-the-art centre will include a fun pool and soft-play alongside an eight-lane main pool, a large learner pool and sports hall, studios and a new gym.
It is expected that the proposed plan will allow for the current centre to remain operational until the new facilities open in 2025, ensuring the community does not miss out on leisure services, particularly swimming programmes for local schools.
West Suffolk Council says the existing leisure centre in Bury St Edmunds is nearly 50 years old and “in need of immediate repairs,” as well as not being large enough to cope with the projected growth in population by 2040.
It is predicted that keeping it going for another 20 years in its current form could cost over £13 million and a major refurbishment on the constrained site could cost over £25 million.
However, this would only delay a complete rebuild by about 20 years, costing an additional £60 million and losing the chance to take part in the £75 million Western Way initiative.
The Western Way initiative is part of a network of community hub projects across West Suffolk aimed at “securing the future of integrated local community facilities for health, leisure and skills”.
Spending a further £10 million on renewable energy for the site would also take the new leisure centre off the grid for much of the year, making considerable savings.
In addition, councillors will be asked to consider spending another £5 million to turn the leisure centre into a community hub with additional facilities such as a health and wellbeing centre.
Councillor Jo Raynor, portfolio holder for leisure, culture and community hubs, said: “Delivering a new leisure centre in West Suffolk will significantly benefit the current and future community.
“Anyone who uses the current centre will know that it is very tired and in urgent need of an upgrade which is challenging in the current financial climate.
“By taking this new phased approach, and staying within our existing budgets, we can still provide the new, bigger and better facilities people have told us they want to see.”
This first phase of Western Way will be discussed at West Suffolk Council cabinet on Tuesday, December 6, before going to council on Tuesday, December 13.
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