Mansfield District Council has agreed to allocate £1.5m towards a project to build a new swimming pool, gym, and multi-purpose hall in Warsop.
The Full Council agreed to earmark the money from reserves to part fund the Warsop Health Hub project and also approved the borrowing of up £3.5m to help deliver the scheme.
The hub is one of six projects included in the council’s bid to the Government’s Towns Fund. Of £12.3m awarded from the Fund to the district, £3m is allocated to the health hub plan.
The council plans to bid for a further £1m to £1.5m from Sport England. But a report to the council by David Evans, the council Head of Health and Communities said that the estimated costs of the scheme had increased from a £6m estimate last year to £7.7m this year due to the rising price of supply chains, materials and labour.
This meant that the council would have to either source extra funding through borrowing or put the project at risk of not moving forward.
The level of borrowing required is anticipated to be £2m to £3.5m, depending on the level of funding secured from Sport England.
Cllr Craig Whitby, Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Finance, said: “We are very committed to the idea of building these new leisure facilities in Warsop. They would bring an undoubted improvement in the quality of life for the people there and help to address some of the health inequalities that exist in this district.
“This will transform a huge part of our community. The people are on our side, the experts are on our side, and we are one step away from getting this over the line. We have to commit a certain amount of our own funding to this scheme in order to even bid for funding from Sport England.
“Unfortunately rising costs in the building market mean that we now need to find more money to enable it to move forward. The ability to borrow helps to ensure that the scheme is viable but the council will also continue to seek alternative funding contributions to minimise the extent of potential borrowing.”
The council plans to submit an expression of interest for the funding in April and if that is confirmed, will be invited by Sport England to submit a full application.
The plan for the hub follows detailed research commissioned by the council in 2019 into the leisure and community provision in Warsop.
This work was supported by Vibrant Warsop, Warsop Parish Council and Active Notts, and community groups, members of the local community, and partner organisations were all asked for their views at consultation events and in a community-wide survey.
This was followed by a feasibility study in 2020, looking into providing a new health and wellbeing hub with a mix of facilities including:
- Swimming pool, measuring 15m by 8m
- Changing village
- Café, viewing area and reception area
- Fitness suite
- Multi-purpose dividable hall of 1,360 square metres
- New Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA).