£10m West Cumbrian leisure centre plan is revealed
Last updated at 20:21, Thursday, 16 August 2012
A £10 million leisure centre will be built in Workington, the leader of Allerdale council has pledged.
Councillor Alan Smith has promised to deliver the new sporting hub as part of the council’s leisure and arts programme.
A 25-metre swimming pool and halls for sports including football, badminton, squash and a gym will be part of the complex.
Workington’s existing leisure centre in Moorclose will continue to be refurbished until the new centre is complete, but will then close.
No site has been earmarked for the development, but Coun Smith has put a December deadline on locating the home of Workington’s new centre.
Coun Smith said: “Nowhere has been ruled in or out. We are going through our entire portfolio of land, which includes The Cloffocks, to find the right place.
“This centre will have something for everyone, and I guarantee this council will deliver it.
“It should be well under way when the next election comes around in 2015.
“It is crucial that we offer the people of West Cumbria, not just Allerdale, a chance to take part in sport.
“We are losing money hand over fist at Workington Leisure Centre.
“We have continued to paper over the cracks there, and pumped money into doing up the parts that are necessary.
“But there are only so many times you can put a plaster on a scab before you eventually pick it off.”
Funding for a new centre could come from selling council-owned land which is no longer used or of any value to the authority.
Coun Smith added: “We need to build the leisure centre, which brings jobs.
“Materials need to be sourced locally, and when it is up and running we need local people running the leisure centre.
“The council does need to save money, but there’s also a need for growth.”
Council officers will meet local sports clubs to discuss what other facilities they would like, with an athletics track, long jump pit and artificial training pitches a possibility.
Coun Smith believes a new leisure centre could be West Cumbria’s Olympic legacy.
He highlighted the success of Workington-born rugby union star Mark Cueto, and said the future already looked bright with Cockermouth cricketer Ben Stokes representing England, and the emergence of Papcastle golfer Seb Crookall-Nixon.
Plans to improve sports facilities in Workington have been in the pipeline for several years.
In 2005, Allerdale council drafted its Derwent Valley scheme.
The plan was to sell Tesco an £18 million site on The Cloffocks to build a new supermarket and free up the retailer’s current site for a stadium, which would have included Workington Town rugby league and Workington Reds football clubs.
The rugby club was in favour of the £31.5 million stadium, but the football club was against it.
The idea was scrapped in 2009 when then council leader Tim Heslop said it would be a burden on taxpayers.
In September 2009, the council’s ruling executive suggested a £16 million leisure centre, but no plans were developed.
First published at 19:22, Thursday, 16 August 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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At last, Just hope this goes through and Adults & Kids alike get the facilities they need!
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