Council confirms its commitment to Congleton Leisure Centre refurbishment in the spring
22 December 2020
Cheshire East Council will begin with the refurbishment of Congleton Leisure Centre in the spring – subject to obtaining planning approval - which will then deliver on its promise to provide modern gym, exercise and swimming facilities for the town.
The 15-month-long project has been awarded to a local contractor and, although the centre will have to close for much of the building work, that will mean a faster completion, with recommissioning sooner than first planned.
A reconfiguration of the design – which requires a fresh planning application – will allow for more people to be able to access the centre, leading to a greater commercial return on the investment. It is anticipated that the refurbished leisure centre will attract more members and users, contributing to its long-term sustainability.
The new layout will see a bigger gym compared with the previous design, while all the original plans for two new swimming pools, modern changing facilities, fitness suite, thermal unit and studio space, will go ahead as planned.
Councillor Mick Warren, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities, said: “I recognise the frustration felt by the town and leisure centre members at having to wait so long for this refurbishment to get off the ground. I am pleased to be able to announce that this long-awaited project will now go ahead and I look forward to its completion in 2022.”
The revised £11m project will support local businesses. The ground works and demolition alone could inject around £1.3m into the local economy.
The contract has been awarded to Rock Merchanting, trading as Pulse Design and Build, of Radnor Park, Congleton. Matt Johnson, executive director of Pulse, said: “We are extremely proud to have won the tender for the design and development of our home town’s leisure centre. We look forward to commencing the construction works in the new year to bring to realisation the much-needed modernisation of Congleton Leisure Centre.
“We are confident that once completed, the leisure centre will be inclusive for all and will provide a state-of-the-art mix of facilities tailored to our local community, that will be financially sustainable to operate long into the future.”
Councillor Jill Rhodes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for public health and corporate services, said: “By upgrading our leisure facilities we are meeting our core commitments towards helping our residents to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and live longer.
“We are also providing our children and young people with quality facilities that will encourage them to exercise, stay healthy and enjoy an active way of life."
Councillor Andrew Kolker, chairman of Everybody Sport and Recreation, the borough’s leisure trust, said: “We welcome this news and we are pleased to hear the work will begin in early 2021.
“We want to reassure our customers that during the closure period they will have access to any of our other leisure facilities in the borough as part of their Everybody membership. We will work closely with clubs and our partners during this period.
“We have carried out a number of highly-successful redevelopment and refurbishment projects at our other centres and the feedback we have received has been extremely positive. This is another great opportunity to continue our joint work and investment with the council, for the benefit of our residents.”
The new proposed layout will require a fresh planning application and that can now be submitted, following the portfolio holder decision to start the project. Plans to upgrade the skate park will still go ahead at a later date, while the rugby facilities will not be affected.