The go-ahead has been given to spend £99,000 on progressing a possible £1.8m upgrade to Brandon Leisure Centre.
The funding will be spent on land and building surveys, project timelines and cost plans, to give cost certainty for West Suffolk Council in considering a seven figure capital investment in the town’s facilities.
The Leisure Centre is owned by West Suffolk Council who would use a leisure investment fund set up to increase the number of people engaging in physical activity by providing more attractive facilities. The improved financial performance creates opportunities to reduce the fee paid to not-for profit social enterprise Abbeycroft Leisure, who manage the leisure centre.
Jo Rayner, Portfolio holder for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs said: “Last year we began talking to residents about what they’d like to see at the leisure centre and I am really pleased that the hard work put in by many people is taking shape. We listened to what local people told us and the proposed facilities offer a much broader age range greater opportunities to be physically active, maintain motivation and stay active longer.”
Warren Smyth, CEO of Abbeycroft Leisure, said: “This is a win-win for Brandon as any surplus Abbeycroft Leisure generates is re-invested in facilities and activities. We are looking to add a buzz with some great social, multifunctional spaces and a Shapemaster suite, which provides fun, low intensity exercise for those of us who don’t like gyms. Other improvements will see the gym relocating and given new changing rooms, a purpose-built free weights area, plus a new studio and treatment rooms. Leisure centres come alive when they are social spaces and our proposals aim to make this a great place to spend some time.”
The project business case will take about six months and once ready, will be taken to West Suffolk Cabinet for the decision to go ahead. If approved, construction would take about seven months and be phased to minimise any disruption to leisure centre users.
Pictured above, left to right, areWarren Smyth, CEO Abbeycroft Leisure; Jo Rayner, West Suffolk Council Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs; Karen Points, Strategic Director Abbeycroft Leisure; and Lauren Riding, Brandon Leisure Centre manager.