A £2.2m development and refurbishment at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre in Stowmarket – including an extension to the existing building – is set to be considered by councillors next month.
On Monday 10 February, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet will consider funds of £2.2m from their Growth and Efficiency Fund to improve leisure provision at both Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre, as well as Stradbroke Pool and Fitness from their current budget.
Proposed works are being considered as part of the council’s re-procurement of Mid Suffolk’s leisure facility management contract, with the current contract held by Everyone Active due to end in September 2020.
These have been put forward as part of a proposed arrangement with Everyone Active, currently under negotiation, to manage Mid Suffolk’s leisure facilities for the next 15 years starting in October 2020. If agreed, this would see a new lease arrangement put in place between the council and provider.
Further details about the development scheme are expected to be announced later in the year, and are subject to the successful outcome of a public consultation and planning approval.
Plans are also set to include the introduction of a new outreach programme in Mid Suffolk, coordinated by Everyone Active, which would aim to bring sport and activity to a wider community to achieve the outcomes in the council’s Leisure, Sport and Physical Activity Strategy.
Cllr Julie Flatman, cabinet member for communities and housing at Mid Suffolk District Council, said:
“I’m excited by this proposal to develop our sports and leisure infrastructure and improve fitness provision in a sustainable way, to ensure we can support the wellbeing and health of our residents over coming years.
“This investment will help our residents to remain healthy and happy whilst also achieving the aims set out in our Leisure, Sport & Physical Activity Strategy.
“If proposals are approved by cabinet, the next step is to undertake an appropriate process and finalise our negotiations with Everyone Active.”
Anselm Gurney, contract manager at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre for Everyone Active, said:
“We are very excited about this proposed substantial investment into improving facilities at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre and Stradbroke Swim and Fitness Centre, as part of our already successful partnership with Mid Suffolk District Council. This will help achieve our objective of getting everyone active, and will also improve the quality of our customers’ experience.
“If the funds are approved, we look forward to delivering the developments for the benefit of the local community, and hope that this will form part of an extended and wider partnership with Mid Suffolk District Council in the future.”
Discussions are already underway with Suffolk County Council, Stowmarket High School and its governing trust to consider the school’s arrangements on shared land at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre, with separate conversations taking place with Suffolk Football Association around the potential for a new football facility.
Financial proposals for the new contract will be considered by cabinet at a later date.