South Ribble announces ‘game-changer’ £13m leisure centres revamp

Described as a “once in a generation investment” by the council, the transformation of all four of the borough’s leisure centres comes at the expense of proposals to build a new facility.

South Ribble Council cited the increasing costs of construction as one of the reasons for opting for refurbishments of existing centres rather than a new-build structure. The revamp will include decarbonising the older buildings as well as upgrades to the appearance of the facilities as well as the pools, changing areas, gym equipment, flooring and sports halls.

“This will be amazing news for the borough and one of the biggest investments this council will ever make in leisure,” said Mark Lester, director of commercial and property with the council.

It is part of a continued effort by the council in improving the leisure offering for residents. As part of that plan, the council took back control Leyland Leisure Centre, Bamber Bridge Leisure Centre, Penwortham Leisure Centre, and South Ribble Tennis and Fitness Centre from private operator Serco last year.

Lester elaborated on that move: “One of the benefits of us bringing the centres back in-house has been that greater control and flexibility to give residents what they want – it has been a challenging period in the leisure industry following the transition during covid but we believe this will give us facilities that are the envy of others and encourage more people to get active.”

Lester described the council’s new plans for centres as “a game-changer”.

More detailed reports regarding the leisure centre revamps are set to be announced in May.

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Hardly a game changer, non of South Ribble’s swimming pools are up to modern standards and after refurbishment will still not be. Leyland Leisure Centre pool with only five lanes does not meet the needs of the growing town, it should be replaced with a new facility, a 25m eight lane pool with spectator seating as was the plan.

By Dave

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