Councillors at North Devon Council are backing the plans to provide a new leisure centre at Seven Brethren.

At the full council meeting on Wednesday, March 15, members approved a recommendation to proceed with the construction of a new swimming pool, sports hall and exercise studios next to Tarka Tennis Centre in Barnstaple.

Last month, the Gazette revealed how the council’s executive had approved a recommendation to take out a loan to pay for the multi-million facility.

At the time, contracts delivery manager Mark Kentell said the project would be largely self-funding, with a large portion of the loan repayments met by the return from the new facility, which would be paid back to the council by the operator at an agreed, fixed rate.

The council is still waiting to hear if funding applications to Sport England and the Coastal Communities Fund have been successful. If this funding falls into place, it hopes to start work on the project later this year.

Executive member for parks, leisure and culture, Councillor Dick Jones, said: “A decision from full council is another positive step towards the delivery of a new pool and leisure facilities to replace our ageing leisure centre at Seven Brethren.

“The results of our funding applications are key and we have our fingers firmly crossed for some good news later this month.”