Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Money ‘ring-fenced’ for new North Devon leisure centre

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 September 2017

The existing North Devon Leisure Centre would be demolished. Picture: Andy Keeble

The existing North Devon Leisure Centre would be demolished. Picture: Andy Keeble

Archant

Sport England support is ‘icing on the cake’ as plans are lodged for a new leisure centre in Barnstaple

The Seven Brethren site in Barnstaple. Picture: Austin WallasThe Seven Brethren site in Barnstaple. Picture: Austin Wallas

A new leisure centre for North Devon is several steps closer after £1.5million was set aside for it.

North Devon Council said Sport England had ring-fenced the money for the project and would work alongside the council to support its fund-raising bid.

The council wants to extend the Tarka Tennis Centre to provide a new pool and leisure facilities at Seven Brethren in Barnstaple.

If the bid is successful, construction could begin in autumn 2018 and be complete by summer 2020.

Up for grabs: North Devon Leisure Centre could be sold off and flattened to make way for a new scheme that could include a cinema, restaurants and a hotel. Picture: Andy KeebleUp for grabs: North Devon Leisure Centre could be sold off and flattened to make way for a new scheme that could include a cinema, restaurants and a hotel. Picture: Andy Keeble

It is proposing to include a new eight-lane 25metre pool, learner pool and fitness gym, exercise studios, sports hall and a full size 3G artificial grass pitch.

It has previously been estimated the scheme could cost around £8m, but the current leisure centre has reached the end of its life and it would cost millions just to keep maintaining it.

The council said the news from Sport England was the icing on the cake – a planning application for the new facilities has been submitted and it is hoped this will be decided in December.

Plus the search is on for an operator to design, build, run and maintain the new leisure facilities, with a closing date of October 27 for companies to express an interest.

The Investment Committee of Sport England is in support of the project and has formally invited the council to submit an application for funding.

The council’s executive member for parks, leisure and culture, Councillor Dick Jones, said: “We may have been fairly quiet about our leisure centre project for a while, but behind the scenes a huge amount of work has been going on to drive the project forward and this is the news we’ve been waiting for from Sport England.

“I am so delighted by their decision to support our application and look forward to continuing to work with them to progress our funding bid.

“We’ve also reached two key milestones this week, with the planning application lodged and the contract out to tender.

“I would like to congratulate the officers for what they have achieved so far and thank them for their professionalism and continuing hard work.

“North Devon Leisure Centre is coming to the end of its useful life and we’ve got to work hard to secure this funding to provide a new pool and leisure facilities to replace it.”

The scheme is part of the council’s masterplan for Seven Brethren which includes potentially a hotel, restaurants and a multi-screen cinema.

To keep up to date with the progress of this project, follow the council’s blog www.newleisurecentre.wordpress.com.

Other News Stories

13:30

There are proposals for a cycle bridge across the North Devon Link Road from Seven Brethren in Barnstaple

Read more
17:27

Will festive video go viral? St Michael’s Nursery in Barnstaple is racking up the social media views for its Christmas video debut

Read more
12:04

New leisure centre at Seven Brethren approved by council planning committee this morning (Wednesday)

Read more

A teaching assistant is fundraising to bring her husband’s family to Devon for Christmas after their home was ravaged by a tropical hurricane. Can you help?

Read more
Yesterday, 19:06

The Gazette has been along to review Beauty and the Beats at the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple – have you got your tickets yet?

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

The Appledore RNLI lifeboat was requested to transport a woman who needed hospital treatment after being injured on Lundy

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

Dogs Trust Ilfracombe has revealed the bizarre excuses why people gave up their dog last Christmas, including ‘he was a secret Santa’ and ‘he pants too much’.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:55

A nine-year-old girl left severely disabled with cerebral palsy after mistakes at North Devon District Hospital has been awarded £20million in damages at the High Court.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:17

Torridge District Council and North Devon Council are reminding people what can and cannot be recycled over Christmas and New Year.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:36

The community has pulled together to help landlords of The Bell Inn in Parkham re-open in a temporary premises, celebrating with a Christmas lunch for all.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications