Lottery to fund combined fire station leisure centre

The Big Lottery Fund is expected to approve plans for a new sports centre and fire station to be created in the same building in Toxteth, Liverpool.

The £4.8m project designed by architects Cass Associates will see Toxteth Sports Centre rebuilt with a new sports hall and fitness suite together with a climbing wall, multi activity room and dance/drama studio.

It will be funded by a £2.3m grant from the lottery's Myplace scheme, together with £500,000 from the city council.

The Big Lottery Fund approved in principle the £2.3m grant prior to the General Election last year but the confirmation was put on hold as projects across the country were reviewed. In the meantime, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said they wanted to spend £2m relocating Toxteth Community Fire Station to the same Upper Hill Street site from its present location on Upper Park Street.

The Big Lottery Fund is not being asked for additional cash for the fire station element and is expected to approve the revised plans.

The campus will be known as Toxteth Firefit and follows a joint initiative by the city council and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service which has seen fitness equipment installed in some fire stations for use by local residents.

A planning application is due to be submitted later this year with work expected to start in June ready for completion in summer 2012.

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