When plans for a new Felixstowe leisure centre will be revealed
PUBLISHED: 16:30 04 September 2019
Plans to pursue a new multi-million pound leisure centre for Felixstowe have moved a step closer.
East Suffolk Council is planning to demolish the existing Felixstowe Leisure Centre and Brackenbury Leisure Centre, and create a new complex, as part of a wider overhaul of leisure facilities.
Six options had been assessed, ranging from doing nothing to building a brand new centre, with the council pursuing the option of a new build in north Felixstowe on farmland along the A154 Candlet Road-Walton bypass.
On Tuesday night, East Suffolk Council's cabinet gave the green light for officers to complete a business plan.
Councillor Letitia Smith, Conservative cabinet member for communities, leisure and tourism, said: "Both [existing leisure centres] are aging and require substantial investment. It's also not practical or economical to operate two facilities in the town."
Cabinet member for customer services and operational partnerships Stephen Burroughes added: "We have got a good pedigree and I think we need to promote it as a brand across the district that East Suffolk is providing the best facilities anywhere."
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The cabinet report said that the council "wishes to exploit the potential tourism opportunity that a new leisure centre could bring, using the centre as a 'gateway' for further activities within Felixstowe".
Officers will now work on a full business plan, including build programme and a 20-year support case to be presented back to cabinet in March 2020.
A budget of £250,000 has been allocated for the designs and planning.
The new facility is set to include a 25m swimming pool, learner pool, six-court sports hall, 100-station gym, two dance studios, spin studio, sauna and steam room, cafe and full sized 3G pitch.
The Felixstowe plans are the latest phase in a programme of works on leisure facilities in the district.
The first phase in November 2013 saw Places for People Leisure appointed to run the council's four leisure centres, producing savings of £500,000 per year.
The first two leisure centre revamps at Deben Leisure Centre and Leiston have already been completed, at a combined cost of around £7.7million, while the £3.4m Bungay Leisure Centre revamp begins later this month.