New District Leisure Centre

Work commences on new district leisure centre

Good progress is being made on new leisure centre for East Cambridgeshire which is set to open to the public next year.

The leisure centre, which will be called The Hive, is being built by contractor Pellikaan and will include an eight-lane 25m swimming pool, a learner pool with moveable floor, a 120-station gym floor, two activity studios and a four-court sports hall. Outside there will be a 3G artificial grass pitch.

The project has been funded by East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) with the help of a £1.5m Lottery grant from Sport England.

When the centre opens in 2018, it will be managed by GLL on behalf of East Cambridgeshire District Council.

There are only plans for the Council to close and replace the Paradise Swimming Pool as part of the new leisure centres development. No other leisure facility is planned for closure, as all of the facilities that will be provided within the new leisure centre are needed in addition to those currently provided.

The pool is currently under a management contract with Sports and Leisure Management Ltd (SLM). We will keep the current Paradise Swimming Pool open until the new district leisure centre is open to the public

Why is a new leisure centre needed?

We know the facilities currently provided are not big enough for the local community and will not cope with the demand we expect from a growing population.

The Paradise Swimming Pool, a 4 lane pool and leisure pool, is operating at 97% of total capacity in 2014, which is well above 70% comfort level. The feasibility report for the new centre indicates there is unmet demand for swimming in East Cambridgeshire that equates to 166 sq metres of water space (2.6 lane 25 metre) in 2014 and 242 sq metres of water space (4 lane 25 metre) in 2026.

The current Paradise Pool building has had a number of extensions over the past 30 years. This means that it’s difficult to extend it any further, and as it ages, it’s becoming more and more inefficient for us to run.

The population has increased significantly in recent years and growth is expected to increase by 19,500 to 103,700 by 2026. This, plus the additional housing growth proposed in the Local Plan, will place extra pressure on a number of indoor sports facilities not just the swimming pools.

The Sports Consultancy have produced an Indoor Sports Facilities Needs Assessment, Strategy and Action Plan to show the current provision looking at quantity and quality with a view to what is required in the future.

A new leisure centre gives us the opportunity to build a first class district facility that is:

  • fit for current and future generations
  • modern
  • cost effective
  • provides flexible space to respond to the latest trends in exercise and sport
  • designed to be light and inviting spaces

The new district leisure centre will be located at Downham Road, adjacent to the Ely Outdoor Sports Association existing sport facilities:-

If you have any queries regarding the new leisure centre, please contact sally.bonnett@eastcambs.gov.uk, Infrastructure and Strategy Manager, or telephone 01353 665555.