Wilmott Dixon to build Oldham leisure facilities

Simon Donohue

The construction company will work on behalf of Oldham Community Leisure, which has been confirmed as manager of the borough's leisure estate facilities until 2023 – including a raft of new sports venues.

Plans include a new leisure facility at Eagle Street/Manchester Street to replace the existing Oldham Sports Centre, plus a new facility in Royton town centre.

The scale and value of the projects have not yet been disclosed.

OCL is a community benefit society formed in 2002 to operate facilities in partnership with other agencies to improve the health, well being, and physical activity for the people of Oldham.

It has an option to extend its contract for a further five years.

OCL's contract is to run the new-look Leisure Estate, drawn up following an extensive public consultation exercise in 2011.

The review looked at leisure service provision across all sectors with the aims of transforming what is on offer to the public and reducing the revenue burden on the Council.

Oldham cabinet member Cllr Hugh McDonald, said: "This whole process has been about looking to the future of our leisure provision and seeking to provide fit-for-purpose and high quality facilities that properly fit our residents' aspirations and needs, which are changing all the time.

"This new contract delivers better value for money for Council Taxpayers and we are reinvesting the savings made to help us improve the leisure offer.

"We are delighted to be working alongside OCL again to deliver better facilities and services that the whole community, and people of all ages, can benefit from."

OCL chief executive Stuart Lockwood said: "Oldham Council's commitment to renewing the facilities in Oldham shows real ambition.

"It will give the borough some of the best facilities in the country and our team are excited at the prospect of serving the customers and delivering activities within them.

"OCL's own planned investments into Saddleworth and Failsworth this year will mean that all the sites within the new contract will soon be high-quality and enjoyable places to visit – that is absolutely essential if we are to encourage more people to be more active, more often."

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