Multi-million pound leisure centre upgrade for Brackley gets approved

An artist impression of the planned leisure centre upgrades
An artist impression of the planned leisure centre upgrades
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Plans for a multi-million pound redevelopment of Brackley Leisure Centre have been given the go-ahead by South Northamptonshire Council (SNC).

SNC’s plans to invest £4.5 million in leisure facilities for both Brackley and Towcester are now one step closer to fruition, after members resolved to grant planning permission for a new swimming pool and improved leisure facilities in Brackley. The decision is subject to Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) raising no objections as Lead Local Flood Authority.

At yesterday’s Development Control Committee meeting (Thursday, June 9), councillors supported the proposals to relocate Brackley’s Manor Road Pool to an enhanced facility at the existing Brackley Leisure Centre in Springfield Way.

Cllr Roger Clarke, portfolio holder for planning and environment, said: “Support for such a facility has been long established, and I am pleased that the plans have received a formal resolution to approve so that we can now start to move forward with improving and modernising the district’s leisure and sport facilities.”

Cllr Karen Cooper, portfolio holder for community engagement and wellbeing, added: “This is fantastic news for the residents of Brackley and the surrounding areas, and an extremely positive step in SNC’s journey to revitalise the district’s leisure facilities.

“One of our key priorities is to improve the health and well-being of our residents, and the redevelopment of Brackley’s leisure centre, and the refurbishment of Towcester Centre for Leisure’s changing facilities, café and health and fitness suite, will go a long way in helping us to achieve that.”

Along with a new 25m, six lane swimming pool, learner pool and wet-changing village, the centre will get a new reception, café, meeting room, refurbished dry-side changing facilities, a bespoke spinning studio, and a new 100 station health and fitness suite.

Parkwood Leisure Limited was appointed the district’s preferred bidder for the leisure operator and improvements contract in December 2015. Since then they have been working closely with SNC to finalise plans for both the Brackley and Towcester sites, with the contract award anticipated in late July and contract commencement from Thursday, 1 September 2016.

Subject to NCC raising no objections and the conditions attached to the planning permission, development works could start in September/ October 2016, with the new Brackley facility completed by October 2017. During this time the existing pool will remain open until the new facility is ready.

Negotiations on the future of the Manor Road site are underway with owners of the site, NCC.

Staff currently employed at the leisure centre will be transferred to the new contractors and no redundancies are expected.