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£9m leisure centre to be built on edge of Workington town centre

Workington's new leisure centre will be built close to the town centre by local firms, councillors agreed today.

Workington leisure centre plan option 3
Workington Leisure Centre plans - site option 2 - Brow Top and adjacent land

Allerdale council’s ruling executive met to agree how to proceed with plans to replace the town’s 1970s leisure centre, which has reached the end of its life.

Considering three options, councillors voted to build a leisure centre and provide space for a linked family entertainment centre at Brow Top car park and part of The Cloffocks.

The option was the most popular in a public consultation.

They also agreed to use a framework for delivering the project which would see 70 per cent of the money spent with local firms (within 20 miles).

Carlisle Leisure Ltd will run the new centre under its existing contract with the council, which councillors agreed in principle to extend for two years.

Councillors also pledged to work with the county council and the community to retain sports provision in Moorclose, where the current centre is.

They added that the underpass taking Central Way into Brow Top car park would not be closed, something the council had said was a possibility when the proposed sites were revealed.

The chosen plan was one of three options put forward for councillors to consider.

The others were to build a leisure centre alone on Brow Top car park or to put the new centre next to the existing Moorclose site.

The leisure and family entertainment centre plan was the most popular of three options in a public consultation, with 46 per cent of respondents calling for it.

Forty four per cent wanted the leisure centre at Moorclose and 10 per cent wanted just a leisure centre at Brow Top car park.

Councillors voted only to build the £9.3 million leisure centre part of the two phase plan, which will be on The Cloffocks next to the existing car park.

In the second phase, private-sector developers would be invited to develop a family entertainment centre on the car park site.

It could include facilities like a cinema, bowling alley and restaurants, which could be new or moving businesses.

The leisure centre, which will replace the town’s 1970s leisure centre and separate pools, is due to open in November 2015.

The council has already held initial talks about the second phase and is keen for developers to take it forward.

But Councillor Mike Heaslip, executive member responsible for locality services, warned that it could not fund that side of the building project.

He said: “That decision will be for investors. We are not proposing to risk any council money on that.

“The saga of the swimming pool and sports centre in Workington has gone on for many years. We are, today, at a very significant milestone.”

Coun Phil Tibble said: “The chance of us developing the side of the River Derwent has been close to our hearts for a long time. The commercial impact it might have on the town, particularly if phase two goes ahead, is added value.”

Council leader Alan Smith said the project fitted in with an ongoing review of sports provision across the borough, which could see new developments elsewhere in the coming years.

The executive agreed to go ahead with the Brow Top and Cloffocks option and talk to the county council and community representatives about retaining some sports provision at Moorclose.

Have your say

And just annouced that they have to save £2.4m!! So why spend this sort of money when they need to save???

Posted by CoLiN on 18 November 2013 at 12:49

Alan Smith seems determined to get the Reds off Borough Park he has now jumped on the Rugby League bandwagon.

Posted by ALAN on 17 November 2013 at 14:23

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