Future of Hermitage Recreation Ground – community feedback event

Published: Wed 1 June, 2022

The future of Hermitage Recreation Ground and the former leisure centre site in Whitwick will be up for discussion at a community feedback event on Thursday 9 June.

The event, held at the new Whitwick and Coalville Leisure Centre from 6pm – 8pm, will ask local people, community groups and sports teams to give their feedback on proposals for the site that have been developed following previous consultations.

Spaces are limited, so those who would like to attend are asked to register by emailing communications@nwleicestershire.gov.uk An online consultation will be available at www.nwleics.gov.uk/hermitage from Friday 10 June for those unable to attend.

Former leisure centre site

Following the opening of the new leisure centre in February, the former centre has been closed and decommissioned. Structural surveys have been completed on the site, showing that the building is no longer fit for public use. It would take at least £2 million just to bring it up to safe standards.

Subject to approval by councillors at North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC), the building is likely to be demolished, making way for new investment on the leisure centre site and recreation ground. The investment proposals are based on the results of previous consultation with stakeholders and the community. 

The council now wants to hear the public view on the proposals for the site – and where any possible investment should be spent.

Current ideas for possible investment

Ideas currently on the table include:

  • A new community centre with café
  • Ecology park
  • Community orchard
  • Nature trails
  • Running circuit
  • Skate park / urban sports zone
  • Retention of free car parking
  • The possibility of some residential on the former leisure centre site to fund further investment in recreation there.

Councillor Andrew Woodman, Portfolio Holder for Community Services at NWLDC, said: “With the new leisure centre open and thriving, we now want to look at how we can invest in the recreation ground for the community, linking this great site through to the new leisure centre and beyond.

“Our consultation in 2019 told us that most people wanted us to invest in outdoor recreation facilities that were free or cheap, and available for all parts of the community. We want to sense check that feedback by showing some options and really understanding what matters to local people.

“If you can’t get to the event on 9 June, I’d encourage you to take park in our online consultation, to give your feedback.

“The site has the potential to be a great asset to the community – and we want to make sure we’re investing the funds we have in the right way.”