Refurbishment plans for Towcester Centre for Leisure given boost

Plans to push ahead with refurbishing Towcester Centre for Leisure have been given a boost after a funding agreement was reached by councillors.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 4:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 5:00 pm
Towcester Centre for Leisure is set to be refurbished

South Northamptonshire Council has allocated £1.1 million to help ‘refurbish’ the Milton Way venue, but had spread the funding out over two years.

But this week councillors unanimously agreed to bring the entire ringfenced ‘capital’ budget for the scheme forward as good progress was being made, which will allow contractual negotiations to start ahead of schedule.

On Wednesday (December 18) cabinet member Councillor Peter Rawlinson said: “The proposal is a technical change to our capital programme. The council decided to spend £1.1 million on this and at the time we agreed to split the funds over two years.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“But since good progress is being made we are ready to enter into contractual negotiations. In order to be able to do so, we need access to the whole budget. So this is bringing the whole budget forward so that this isn’t needlessly delayed.”

The gym and changing rooms at the leisure centre underwent minor refurbishment in 2016, but according to a council sports and leisure strategy for the area they ‘require further modernisation’.

The council papers, from finance director Martin Henry, informed councillors: “There is a risk that if the total project costs are not approved then we will not be able to instruct contractors and could lose out on the currently available window when the works will be carried out. This will add further delay and potentially cost to the project.”

Councillor Allen Walker, speaking at the full council meeting at The Forum, said: “I have had cause to join the leisure centre earlier this year, and would like to support this. The quicker the money goes in the quicker the refurbishment can take place, and we all know how budgets can sometimes drag on. You only have to look at what the leisure centre puts on for the local area to see that this is a good thing.”