Leisure centre could see £2m upgrade
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A town’s leisure centre could see a £2m investment to provide community health services and improved fitness facilities.
West Suffolk Council will hold a cabinet meeting on October 6, to discuss a recommendation to invest £2m to upgrade Brandon Leisure Centre.
Following a community consultation, residents revealed what they would like to see at the centre, including an improved café and waiting area, gym relocation and a purpose-built free-weights area, a new studio and improved changing facilities.
West Suffolk Council has been working alongside its not-for-profit partner Abbeycroft Leisure, which manages its five leisure centres, and Alliance Leisure, which will deliver the project after the £1.6m upgrade of Haverhill Leisure Centre in 2018 and the £1.8m upgrade of Newmarket Leisure Centre in spring 2020, put on hold amid the coronavirus.
The money will come from the council’s Leisure Investment Fund, set up in 2016, which allocated £1.6m to the upgrade, and £300,000 from the council’s growth fund to develop the rentable space that could be occupied by community health practitioners.
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Jo Rayner, cabinet member for leisure, culture and community hubs, said: “We began consulting Brandon residents on their ambitions in 2017 and since then have been working as part of the West Suffolk Health Alliance on configuring the site to deliver a seamless, tailored customer experience.
“I believe the last few months have raised awareness of the importance of looking after our health.
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“Certainly national research confirms that people are planning to use COVID-secure leisure facilities, perhaps even more so with shorter days allowing less outside exercise.
“I am very pleased to recommend this project for approval.”
Warren Smyth, chief executive of Abbeycroft Leisure, said: “As a not-for-profit social enterprise we inspire healthier active communities through excellent facilities and services, great experiences and strong partnerships.
“This project has Brandon residents’ health at its heart and we know from collaborations in other places this can truly motivate people to do something that has a positive impact on their wellbeing.”