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Carlisle council boss wants £15m Sands Centre revamp back on table

Carlisle City Council’s leader says he wants to see progress made on a potential £15m revamp of the Sands Centre.

Have your say

J, No, absolutely and most certainly not. Such things could not be done in secrecy.

Posted by Jim on 3 March 2012 at 16:01

Has a deal been done that includes a prime location within the city centre being assembled as a development site to offer further incentives to third party investors involved in the proposed Sands Centre plans?

Posted by J on 3 March 2012 at 15:39

The pools on James Street are inadequate now. Through time, the location has proved an inconvenience, and with the Rail Station's traffic problem being more important than a revamp to the Pools, I'd support having them knocked down and the area used as the proposed transport interchange for the station...

The Sands Centre revamp is a good idea, if a little uninspiring. It's good to see the main hall getting an increased capacity but it will still only hold 2,000. Shouldn't we be looking at making it more of an arena holding 6,000, thus massively increasing revenue and opening the way for leading acts to perform in Carlisle as part of their UK tours?

Again, that would eat into the car park, but I don't see why more land could not be allocated as parking for the centre in the first place, there is some between the main and overspill car park as a start!

In this day and age, surely an arena / theatre could be integrated into the same hall, with lower tier only for theatre and second tier opened for concerts, etc.

As a growing city, we should be thinking big in our idea's, as what is planned now must be suitable for the next 30-40 years until the next revamp is needed. This is where you have to ask, is 2,000 seats really enough as our largest performance venue? If Bournemouth, Bolton and Exeter can do it, why can't Carlisle?

Posted by Mike Sansom on 3 March 2012 at 10:44

The pools are only 10 years older than the Sands! How about developing the Pools and demolishing the Sands as that would be the ideal site for a hotel. There are loads of gyms and facilities around the city that cater for sport, private and council owned.
Demolishing the Sands would save the taxpayer tens of thousands every month in subsidies. This money saved and money gained from the sale of the land could go towards a new dedicated venue / theatre, either The Lonsdale or on The Lonsdale site in the heart of the city.
PS.. If this new development is being partly funded by Carlisle Leisure, another not for profit organisation who must have cash in the bank, why do the council pay them upwards of 40 thousand pounds a month to run the Sands!

Posted by King Sov on 3 March 2012 at 07:52

King Sov, dont worry the leader of the council wants no such thing. This is just poor reporting. This article it is £15 million, todays article it was £10 million. They havent a clue, the council needs to either repair or replace its existing swimming pool. It will probably cost about £2 to £3 million to do that.

It will probably cost about the same amount to do a new pool.

Posted by Dave on 2 March 2012 at 21:07

I stopped using the sands years ago because of the disruption to their timetable!? Considering it's supposed to be a sports centre, there isn't a month that passes without some routine being cancelled or moved...As usual, Carlisle leisure want to have there cake and eat it!...lets just leave it for another 15 years then pull the sorry place down and start again.

Posted by Zacharia on 1 March 2012 at 14:30

Why does the leader want the Sands Centre revamp ? Are they still wanting to provide facilities for the University? Why can’t the pools on James street be revamped ?
The last time this plan was on the cards, the development would have seen a majority of the £15 million spent on facilities for the University. It would have seen very minor improvements to the building for the provision of entertainment and it still would not have a 50m pool, in fact it would result in less pools and space. The site is also impractical and issues were raised about increased traffic as well as the loss of parking.
It was estimated that £1 million pounds would see the James Street pools brought up to scratch. So if they have just found £3 million tucked down the side of the sofa, that would be more than enough to see James Street refurbished.

Posted by King Sov on 1 March 2012 at 07:28

Anon. I agree, I should make more of an effort and it is quite some time since I was last there (certainly a few years). I know it is very well supported (it was PaulM who suggested otherwise) but I now only go to the odd big name performance in either the Sands or in Newcastle. Nothing to do with the Green Room but its just that the few times I do go anywhere I prefer to see bands, although I did go the Theatre By The Lake twice last year.

I think I'll give it a go again this year. Thanks.

Posted by K Graham on 29 February 2012 at 19:37

Jim were did I mention a pool,binmen or even the building of a pool I think you are insulting and offensive by suggesting I did.
just for clarity here again is my comment.
The Sands saga goes on and on why not put it to the people of Carlisle to decide have a referendum.The Council have found savings of 3 million and propose to make further savings while freezing the council tax that would begger the question are we being overcharged.The Council have more pressing items to deal with like the airport and supporting CUFC proposed new ground, items that would support long term employment should be given priority not individual councillors pet projects.

Posted by robert on 29 February 2012 at 15:11

K Graham should make an effort to visit the Green Room. There have recently been some wonderful productions and contrary to the statement that it is not full every night, the theatre is very well supported, and very often a "sell out".

Posted by ANON on 29 February 2012 at 14:01

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