Coastal: Leisure budget gets £1m projects boost

Felixstowe Leisure Centre. Felixstowe Leisure Centre.

Richard Cornwell richard.cornwell@archant.co.uk
Thursday, January 2, 2014
2:00 PM

Nearly £1million has been earmarked by council chiefs for improvements to leisure buildings over the next four years as they embark on a project to revamp an area’s facilities.

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Suffolk Coastal council is undertaking a detailed 10-year leisure strategy review and also looking to appoint a leisure development partner to help bring in major funding to modernise its leisure facilities and provide new attractions to keep the area’s population fit and healthy.

The council says initial analysis of the existing facilities, taking account of their age and condition, has made it clear investment of about £5.5m will be needed in coming years.

No decisions have been taken yet but there has been speculation that major changes could be on the cards.

One project which has been suggested is the demolition of both Felixstowe’s seafront leisure centre and Brackenbury Sports Centre – the site of which would be sold for housing to generate funds for leisure – with the construction of a new modern centre.

The speed with which the leisure strategy review can be completed is making it difficult for the council to budget fully at this stage as no timescale is known for any new future provision.

However, cabinet is being recommended on Tuesday to agree the inclusion of £996,000 over the next four years as the project progresses.

Councillor Robert Whiting, cabinet member for resources, said the money “predominantly provides capital expenditure for the improvement and enhancement of the council’s leisure and public facilities”.

He said: “The expenditure on these assets ensures their viability and that they remain fit for purpose.

“A review of the council’s leisure services is currently being carried out.

“Any changes to the programme resulting from this review will be presented to a future meeting of the cabinet at a later date.”

The large investments needed will mean having to consider a range of funding initiatives, which is why a partner who can offer expertise in leisure design, build and funding solutions and has a proven track record in successful delivery will be essential.

The council has already consulted Sport England about its plans, which bosses say are in line with “best practice”.

6 comments

  • So they are looking to spend £6M on new offices for themselves but don't have £5.5M for something the public could use? Nuff said.

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    amsterdam81

    Sunday, January 5, 2014

  • Well lets just see what a mess up the council can make of this. I personally cannot trust them to do anything in Felixstowe anymore.

    Report this comment

    Elise Moreton

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

  • After approx 10 minutes of trying to download the eadt site (wait for all the ads etc) to comment on an article about Broadband being a priority for business in Suffolk I have had to resort to leaving a message here. Now I have lost the will to comment. It is total bull....t to the people who have there lives sorted and possibly paid for by expenses, meanwhile I try to laughably attempt to run a business on 1Mb decreasing. If Broadband is a priority in this area you are making fools of us by publishing it failure

    Report this comment

    seashoreman

    Saturday, January 4, 2014

  • Whatever they do will, as always, be a bodge, overrun on costs, run late and be totally ineffective and inappropriate. But do they care? No way, its our money they throw around. Oh and they'll probably fluff around for 20 years to waste even more money like they did with the Herman de Sterne land. Amateurs!

    Report this comment

    Disbeliever

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

  • Oh good - they can save the Spa now!

    Report this comment

    Sarky Sage

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

  • Yes the £1 million target sounds good. This will fix Felixstowe for 6 months, spend £40 million, and it will be good for around 20 years! It cost around a million to do half the roof at crown pools in Ipswich... £5.5 million isn't remotely nearing enough, their need to be more ambition to compete with Clacton on Sea etc.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

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