Plans for a new leisure and wellbeing centre in east Leeds could move to the next stage next week.
Detailed as part of a report to Leeds City Council’s executive board on 20 September 2017, senior councillors will have the chance to approve a recommendation that a brand new facility be built on another part of the site which currently hosts the existing Fearnville Leisure Centre.
This follows an appraisal process undertaken by the council of potential locations in the inner east Leeds area following approval by the executive board last December. With a range of existing leisure outdoor facilities already available including playing pitches, BMX track, tennis courts, multi-use games area and bowling green, it is felt that this location is best placed to meet the needs of the local communities it would serve through the new centre.
If approved by the executive board, a public consultation will be opened by the council asking for the thoughts of residents on the proposed site. Following conclusion of the consultation, a feasibility study would then be commissioned by the council to develop detailed designs and costings for the new facility. If agreed, work on site could begin as early as January 2019, with an estimated completion date of September 2020.
This proposal forms part of a wider strategy by the council to ensure that its leisure centres are run on a stronger commercial footing with usage increased to ensure income growth covers running costs in times of a severe budget shortfall. This aims to achieve the council’s lasting commitment to offer residents of all ages and backgrounds access to leisure services and facilities and to provide services that the commercial fitness sector doesn’t.
Councillor James Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member with responsibility for sport said:
“Providing high-quality and affordable facilities for people of all ages at our leisure centres remains a key objective of the council. The leisure market remains extremely competitive, and to ensure that our own facilities continue to thrive, we set out to the executive board last year an ambitious future strategy for the service which included investigating the possibility of a new leisure and wellbeing centre being built in east Leeds.
“Following an options appraisal, we have subsequently identified another part of the Fearnville Leisure Centre site as the best possible location for a brand new leisure and wellbeing centre in east Leeds. We are therefore asking the executive board to back this proposal which if agreed, will be followed by a public consultation and then a feasibility study to develop the project further.”
Previous significant investment by the council in leisure centres at Armley, Morley and Holt Park, and in existing facilities, has proved to be a key success in keeping and attracting users and also increasing revenue for the authority.
For a full copy of the executive board report, please see: http://democracy.leeds.gov.uk