Artist’s impressions of a multi-million-pound project to revolutionise leisure provision for residents across the district have been unveiled by South Kesteven District Council Leader, Councillor Matthew Lee.
Two new ultra-modern leisure centres for Stamford and Market Deeping are planned, together with a complete remodel and refurbishment of Bourne Leisure Centre, and major improvements to leisure facilities in Grantham which could see some aspects, such as the swimming pool, brought back into the town centre as part of the Council’s wider regeneration plans.
The Council wants all four leisure centres to be community hubs for health and leisure, providing services such as physiotherapy, GP referrals, and stop smoking programmes, as well as housing state-of-the-art facilities tailored to each town and the surrounding areas.
The investment fulfils a commitment made by Councillor Lee to transform leisure facilities across South Kesteven, including the provision of activities in rural communities through outreach programmes run by the centres in its market towns.
Councillor Lee said: “We want to provide first class leisure centres for our residents, community hubs where families and friends can relax and enjoy a range of activities that bring the benefits of exercise, from physical and mental wellbeing, to achieving goals to help development.
“I want our leisure centres to go beyond gyms and studio classes. As important as these are, I want to provide facilities that become community hubs, with something for everyone, and a focus on overall health and well-being. That includes providing activities in our rural communities.”
“The current leisure centres in South Kesteven’s four market towns have received basic maintenance, but there hasn’t been any major investment for decades and little, if any, outreach provision in rural communities. This is something I am determined to change, providing modern facilities for current and future generations that meet the needs of changing communities.”
Detailed feasibility studies have been carried out to assess the current condition of all existing buildings, their current usage, and potential locations for the new leisure centres. To maintain the existing buildings, to keep them going for about ten years, would cost millions of pounds and not offer any opportunity for revenue generation nor provide facilities to meet current or future needs.
The Council has identified potential sites for the new leisure centres in Stamford and Market Deeping and talks with those landowners are underway.
The proposal for Bourne Leisure Centre includes a £5million remodel and refurbishment which would double the size of the gym, create more studios, and provide better café facilities.
In Grantham, the Council is considering bringing wet leisure facilities back into the town centre, but leaving the stadium, pitches and car parking at the Meres site, as part of a wider regeneration programme centred around Grantham town centre.
The Council’s recently appointed sports development officer, Dominic Fieldhouse, will be delivering a new sports strategy through the Council’s economic and regeneration company, InvestSK.
Mr Fieldhouse said he was excited to be working on such an ambitious project that put residents’ health and well-being front and centre of plans.
He said: “The new facilities will transform the way sport and activity is provided in the district, offering opportunities for the whole community. They will create high quality environments for people to enjoy which ultimately helps them to become more active and healthier.
“We will engage with the community and organisations who use, or want to use, our leisure centres to ensure that we provide the facilities that our residents value.”
Built over 30 years ago, Stamford Leisure Centre on Drift Road has had no significant investment into the mechanical and electrical plant since it was built. The plant has been maintained, but there are poor levels of ventilation and high levels of humidity. The appearance of the site and the facility is dated. The gym area is very small and doesn’t provide adequate space or dedicated studios. There is also a need to provide modern changing rooms for the wet facilities.
SKDC want to replace the current leisure centre with a modern, larger building and spa facilities. Proposals include increasing the number of gym stations, providing multi-purpose studios and a 25m pool along with a café and possibly a spa.
Deepings Leisure Centre on Park Road in Deeping St James was built in 1974 and is now 45 years old. There is no gas supply on the existing site and the reliance on oil is an issue that would need to be addressed if the leisure centre was to remain on this site. The appearance of the centre is dated and in dire need of modernisation.
SKDC want to replace this facility with a purpose-built modern leisure centre that provides a variety of wet and dry facilities to meet local demand. Plans include doubling the number of gym stations, providing studios for classes and other activities, building a ‘black box’ theatre, a 25m pool, and a larger café.
The Meres Leisure Centre has wet and dry facilities and was originally built in 1960. It was extended in the late 1990s. The mechanical and electrical installations are more than 25 years old. In 2015, £600,000 was spent on upgrading some areas. There is an issue of high levels of humidity and the general appearance of the facility is dated and does not offer the most efficient use of space.
SKDC wants to make Grantham a leisure destination and a town centre people can be proud of. The Council is considering options to bring high quality indoor leisure facilities back into the town centre, linking with High Street businesses, the new cinema complex and a revitalised cultural quarter.
A high-quality leisure and events offer in the heart of Grantham could deliver significant economic growth, attracting residents, shoppers and visitors throughout the daytime and into the evening.
Built in 1990, Bourne Leisure Centre has wet and dry facilities. The general appearance of the centre is tired and dated. The centre has not had any wholesale replacement or upgrading of the mechanical or electrical installations for nearly 30 years. The plant has been serviced and maintained, but there are issues with humidity resulting from the way the centre was constructed and there are signs of structural water leakage which creates challenging working conditions for the maintenance teams.
A soft-play area, an activity hall and larger café are just some of the proposals expected to be included in a major extension and refurbishment of Bourne Leisure Centre.
The centre will be refurbished to make it more modern and accessible to the whole community. The substantial investment will also include proposals to double the number of gym stations.