South Ribble proposes £24m leisure campus

The council has detailed its proposals for a new-build campus-style leisure facility, while £5m is also to be set aside to improve the borough’s existing leisure centres.

The proposed site for the new-build facility is at West Paddock, with other sites also considered for standalone centre in another part of the borough. The project brief has been developed by Faithful + Gould, and is set to feature a 25m eight lane swimming pool with a spectator gallery, a four-court sports hall, meeting and function rooms, a gym and a café.

Alongside the building, links would be provided to the civic centre and pedestrian and cycle routes onto the green links network as part of the Leyland Loop which is under development by the council.

Alternative proposals are also being considered which would include additional income-generating facilities but would cost £26.5m. If either option goes ahead, the council would borrow money, internally finance part of the cost, or find alternative funding arrangements, or a combination of any of the three, to get the project off the ground.

These options are set out in a report to the council’s executive later this week, which also details the investment needed in the borough’s existing leisure facilities.

The estimated costs to repair and maintain South Ribble’s leisure centre stock amounts to over £5m to keep them functioning until 2021. This includes £1.4m for Bamber Bridge Leisure Centre, £1.3m for Penwortham Leisure Centre, £900,000 for the Tennis Centre, and £1.4m for Leyland Leisure Centre.

Some of these sites are near to closure and have a backlog of maintenance. The report said: “Leyland Leisure Centre for example was built in 1974 and is approaching the end of its life.” The report discusses the future redevelopment of these sites or their demolition as possible options.

The report is due to be discussed by South Ribble’s executive on 25 September.

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