A decision on whether to approve an £8.5 million replacement for Queen’s Park Sports Centre will be made by Chesterfield Borough Council’s full council at a meeting this month.
Cabinet members have recommended to give the go-ahead for a new centre being added to the Queen’s Park annexe in Chesterfield - near the existing tennis courts and bowling green - to provide a better leisure experience.
The new centre, which would open in early 2015, would have a mix of modern facilities such as:
- Swimming pools with individual unisex changing rooms
- Fitness suite
- Area for spinning classes
- Dance studio
- Multi purpose sports hall
The plans for the centre are being developed in partnership with Chesterfield College, who would invest £2.5 million in the building so that students can make use of the facilities during term time alongside regular customers. They would also contribute to running costs once the new centre is opened.
If the cabinet gives the go-ahead for the plans when they meet on Tuesday 29 January consultations will take place with local residents and the town’s sports groups in June about the design of the new building. Planning permission would also be needed.
Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Chesterfield Borough Council’s executive member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “The existing Queen’s Park Sports Centre is showing its age and lacks the facilities of modern leisure centres.
“We would have to spend at least £3 million over the next 25 years just to keep the existing building open.
“So instead we have the opportunity to work in partnership with Chesterfield College to get a new leisure centre that meets the demands and expectations of the local community, is more efficient and cheaper to run and provides an impressive post Olympics leisure legacy for the town.
“One of the council’s core aims is to make Chesterfield a healthy and safe borough and by providing these new leisure facilities we would be able to help deliver on that commitment.”
Chesterfield College expressed an interest in investing in the Queen’s Park Sports Centre site after agreeing to sell its Clowne campus to Bolsover District Council.
Trevor Clay, principal of Chesterfield College explained: “This is an exciting partnership which enables us to provide top class facilities to our students within walking distance of the college. This will benefit their learning experience and expand the employment and progression routes we can offer, such as apprenticeships.”
Chesterfield Borough Council currently runs two leisure centres – the Queen’s Park Sports Centre in Chesterfield town centre and the Healthy Living Centre at Staveley.
The Queen’s Park Sports Centre’s swimming pool opened in 1968, with the sports hall, gym, café and learner pool added in 1987. The changing rooms of the centre are not up to modern customer standards, the pool tanks are more than 40 years old and the energy efficiency of the building is also very poor.
If approval is given for a replacement building discussions about the future use of the existing Queen’s Park Sports Centre will be considered following public consultation.
Council meet to discuss the plans on Thursday 28 February.