A scheme to build a new £20 million leisure centre in North West Leicestershire has taken a huge step forward as plans are approved by North West Leicestershire District Council.
The state-of-the-art leisure centre will house an eight-court sports hall and an eight-lane 25-metre swimming pool once finished. The plans have been given the green light by North West Leicestershire District Council, with the complex set to be built on the council-owned land on Stephenson Way, Coalville, near the current Hermitage Leisure Centre, which it will replace.
A £20 million cost has been estimated for the price of the build, with just over half of this coming from council coffers.
The remaining money will come from external borrowing, by taking advantage of the low cost of borrowing made available to the council, said a spokesman.
Now, the process of finding an operator to design, build, operate and maintain the leisure centre will begin. The new management will also run Hood Park Leisure Centre, in Ashby.
The Hermitage Leisure Centre will remain open until the new centre is operational, he said.
Councillor Richard Blunt, leader of North West Leicestershire District Council said: "I'm pleased that we've received cross party support for this exciting project.
"This will be the biggest investment made by this council for many years. We are creating a 21st century facility that our communities deserve.
"I'm thankful to everyone who has worked on this project so far – officers here at the council, as well as members who have provided guidance and will continue to scrutinise the project as it takes shape. And also the leisure staff, who are involved in making this project a successful one."
Councillor Alison Smith, the deputy leader and portfolio holder for community services at North West Leicestershire District Council, added: "The new, modern and fit for purpose leisure centre will address demand issues that we are currently dealing with and will help more people to become active and lead healthy lifestyles.
"Our aim is to provide 'Hermitage plus' – building on the great work done at Hermitage Leisure Centre currently. With a project as ambitious as this, there are always concerns, and we’re listening as we go along.
"There's still a lot of work to do before the new provider is found and we are able to start building the new centre, but I am confident that this is the right decision for our district and for our leisure service."
The councillors also agreed that many facilities will definitely be included at the new complex including an eight court sports halls, an eight lane 25-metre pool, a learner pool with moveable floor and a health and fitness suite with 150 pieces of equipment.
There will also be another large studio, able to be divided into two separate rooms, a spin studio, three squash courts, a vending area, a café and car, and finally a 250-space car park.
Anybody looking for more information about the project can find it online at www.nwleics.gov.uk/leisurecentresproject .