New District Leisure Centre given the green light




Members of East Cambridgeshire District Council have agreed to build the proposed new District Leisure Centre at Downham Road, subject to receipt of £1.5m grant funding from Sport England.

At Full Council on Tuesday 28th June, Councillors fully supported the proposals and costs put forward by Mace, project managers employed by the District Council to progress the scheme.  They agreed the preferred contractors to build the new centre are Pellikaan. The leisure centre will comprise:

•      An eight lane 25m Pool

•      A learner pool with moveable floor

•      A health & fitness Suite with 120 stations

•      Two activity studios

•      A four court sports hall

•      A 3G artificial grass pitch

The preferred contractors to operate the new facility on the Council’s behalf once it opens in early 2018 are GLL. They are a large trust, operating at 222 sites on behalf of 45 local authority or similar clients, including Cambridge City Council.

The new centre will be self-financing and is not being funded by the Council Tax payer. Work on the site is expected to commence in September 2016.

There was overwhelming support for the project at the Full Council meeting on Tuesday. The leisure centre will be one of the biggest infrastructure projects the Council has delivered. It is one of the Council’s main priorities and is one of the projects identified in the Corporate Plan.

The existing Paradise Pool, which has an aging structure and is too small to meet the demand for water space in the district, will close when the new district leisure centre opens. The new facilities will provide services for all age groups and address the needs for more water-based leisure space.

Paradise Pool will continue to operate during the build, as usual, and existing staff will move over to the new site when it opens.

Cllr Richard Hobbs, Chairman of Commercial Services for East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “I’m delighted that we can now begin this very exciting build. This leisure centre will offer something for the whole community. It is vital that we give our residents the chance to take part in sporting activities and exercise so that they can enjoy good health as well as fun leisure time.  This new leisure centre complex will provide those opportunities and will be a fantastic resource for the district.

“The current leisure centre was designed with a much smaller population in mind. We now have a growing district, due to the success of the area, and so are desperately in need of the new centre. It is wonderful news that we will now be able to provide such greatly improved facilities to meet the demands of the whole district.

“I hope everyone will enjoy having access to the eight lane swimming pool, two dance studios, four-court sports hall, an all-weather pitch and a 120 station cardio gym.”