Barnstaple urgently needs a brand new multi-million pound leisure centre, councillors will be told next week. North Devon Councils executive is to hear recommendations for up to £7.5m be spent on a pool and facilities at the Tarka Tennis Centre site. Other options would be to do nothing and see the ageing building condemned by 2020, or throw £3.5m at it for refurbishment. But there are many problems to fix, as the Gazette discovered when we were invited to join Councillor Dick Jones and council officer Mark Kentell for a tour of the hidden issues at the centre. To keep it safe beyond 2020, it would need a host of works including a new roof at £250,000, new outside steel cladding at £650,000 for the job, plus much more including concrete slab repairs, new windows and fire escape.Costs could riseA report to executive on Tuesday by contracts delivery manager Mr Kentell suggests there could also be hidden works needed, plus in the long term the swimming pool plant equipment would need replacing at a cost of up to £1.5m. The council is considering three options do nothing, repair the current centre, or build a new one, with new build the preferred choice. Operator Parkwood Leisures contract is up for renewal in 2020, but in 2018 responsibility for the pool machinery reverts to the council. In 2012 the council was forced to spend £1m on repairs to steel supports that hold up the pool and other works after a 2009 survey highlighted health and safety concerns.Top priorityCllr Dick Jones, health and wellbeing portfolio holder, told the Gazette they could spend a lot of money putting right existing problems, but this didnt solve the overall problem of an ailing building, simply extended its life span. My personal view is we should seriously consider having a new build which will take North Devon Council and its leisure facilities into the future, he said. Its unthinkable that North Devon should be without a swimming pool or leisure centre. Council leader Des Brailey said the leisure centre was his top priority and a new facility next to the Tarka Tennis Centre would require external funding but that would depend on revenue raised from the sale of the current site. This is our dilemma; nobody can tell us how much the current site would be worth to the council until it goes to market, he said. We have looked at costings and currently the cost of a new build is anything between £4million and £7m. There would be a shortfall and we need to look at finding funding. We are kicking around ideas at the moment but I am keen to make a decision on this and move forward.