Bromsgrove's £11.5million leisure centre gets the green light

By Beth Sharp Thursday 17 July 2014 Updated: 17/07 23:48

PLANS for the £11.5million Dolphin Centre replacement were rubber stamped by the council on Wednesday (July 16).

Members of the full council voted on the preferred option to rebuild the centre, currently on School Drive, which will include a 25 by 13metre, six-lane pool with seating for 100 spectators.

As well as that, there will be a 12 by eight-metre learner pool with a movable floor, a fitness suite with 80 pieces of equipment.

The gym will be able to accommodate up to 1,800 members.

The centre will also include a dance studio with two spaces for up to 60 people, a spinning studio for up to 25 people, spa and treatment rooms with a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi as well as a car park with 200 spaces.

The new building will be on the site of the current centre and the land currently owner by Worcestershire County Council where Blackmore House stands.

The application will be put forward to the planning committee in around 12 months time when the designs have been finalised and the detailed scheme has been developed.

As part of funding the project, members approved to borrow £9.536million to fund the majority of the costs.

And this issue prompted Coun Luke Mallett to call on the cabinet to have another look at the Dolphin Business Case.

He said the plans which had been put forward only stacked up if gym membership could be increased by 70 per cent, from 1,000 to 1,700 members.

He added how the plans included almost £10million of borrowing and how the sports hall would be lost along with the café and some of the swimming gala seating.

“Labour back a new leisure centre for our town and have campaigned for the council to commit to providing one for several years.

“I believe Bromsgrove deserves at least a like-for-like leisure centre replacement.

“The plans agreed at council will unfortunately see some facilities lost and downgraded, whilst also committing Bromsgrove taxpayers to almost £10million of borrowing.

“I remain concerned the business case and financing put forward by the Conservative administration does not stack up,” he added.

Coun Mike Webb, portfolio holder for leisure and cultural services, said: “This is an absolutely great facility which we have in front of us tonight.

“This will be the new jewel in the crown for the whole district which will be built with minimal disruption.

“This is not the cheapest facility that we could have chosen but our research with Health England proves this is the best one for Bromsgrove.

“Members here are aware how important it is to the health and wellbeing of our residents.”

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