Plans for a new, state of the art leisure centre in Coalville to replace the 40-year-old Hermitage Leisure Centre have been rubber stamped by North West Leicestershire District Council.
Full Council agreed on Tuesday 21 November that the new leisure centre will be built on council-owned land off Stephenson Way.
The new leisure centre will cost approximately £20 million to build. Councillors have agreed that just over half of this will be 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.
The process of finding an operator to design, build, operate and maintain the leisure centre will begin immediately. The management of both the new leisure centre and Hood Park Leisure Centre in Ashby de la Zouch will transfer to this provider.
Hermitage Leisure Centre will remain open until the new centre is operational.
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.
Councillor Richard Blunt, Leader of North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “I’m pleased that we’ve received cross party support for this exciting project. This will be the biggest investment made by this council for many years. We are creating a 21st century facility that our communities deserve.
“I’m thankful to everyone who has worked on this project so far – officers here at the council, as well as members who have provided guidance and will continue to scrutinise the project as it takes shape. And also the leisure staff, who are involved in making this project a successful one.”
Councillor Alison Smith MBE, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services at North West Leicestershire District Council, added: “The new, modern and fit for purpose leisure centre will address demand issues that we are currently dealing with and will help more people to become active and lead healthy lifestyles. Our aim is to provide ‘Hermitage plus’ – building on the great work done at Hermitage Leisure Centre currently.
“With a project as ambitious as this, there are always concerns, and we’re listening as we go along. There’s still a lot of work to do before the new provider is found and we are able to start building the new centre, but I am confident that this is the right decision for our district and for our leisure service.”