North West Leicestershire District Council’s Cabinet have agreed that the new leisure centre will be built on council-owned land on the corner of Stephenson Way and Thornborough Road after detailed site investigations found it to be suitable.
The new centre will replace the 40-year-old Hermitage Leisure Centre, which will remain open until the new one is operational.
The decision will need to be ratified by Full Council before starting the process of finding an operator to design, build, operate and maintain the leisure centre. The management of both the new leisure centre and Hood Park Leisure Centre in Ashby de la Zouch will transfer to this provider.
Whilst the final facility mix at the new centre would be agreed at the contract stage, councillors agreed that it would include at least the following facilities, vastly improving on what is currently offered at Hermitage Leisure Centre:
- An eight court sports hall
- An eight lane 25-metre pool
- A 15m x 8.5-metre learner pool with moveable floor
- A health and fitness suite with 150 pieces of equipment
- A multi-activity studio, large enough to be sub-divided into two separate rooms
- One spin studio
- Three squash courts
- Vending area(s)
- A café / bar
- A 250-space car park.
It is estimated that it will cost around £20 million to build the new leisure centre, with just over half of this being funded through existing council budgets. The remaining money will be found through external borrowing, taking advantage of the low cost of borrowing that councils can access.
Councillor Richard Blunt, Leader of North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “The investment we’ve decided to make into a new, high quality leisure centre will achieve a number of things. It will replace the very popular Hermitage Leisure Centre, which is currently struggling to meet demand and is no longer fit for purpose. It will provide an excellent leisure facility for the district, helping to address some of our health inequalities. And it will be another positive development for Coalville, adding to the investment being made in the town by the council and others.”
Councillor Alison Smith MBE, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services at North West Leicestershire District Council, added: “We know from speaking to staff, customers and groups at Hermitage Leisure Centre that it is very popular facility, but that it is not coping well with the demand placed on it. We’re very proud of what we offer across our leisure service, and we want to make the right investment now to safeguard it for everyone in the future.
“We are confident that a new leisure centre in a better location will prove very popular, with modern facilities, good access and a health and fitness offer that will benefit the whole of North West Leicestershire.”