Council to decide fate of £31m leisure centre investment programme
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Council to decide fate of £31m leisure centre investment programme

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Dudley Council will hold a full meeting this month (October 2019) to decide whether it should approve a capital investment programme on improving the region's Leisure provision.

At the meeting, councillors will be asked to greenlight a total investment of £31.3m, which would see a new leisure centre being built in Dudley – replacing an ageing facility in the town – and the redevelopment of existing centres in Halesowen and Stourbridge.

The total is £6.8m higher than the original budget of £24.5m allocated for the project.

The long-running plans were first tabled in 2016, when the council initially proposed demolishing all three centres and replacing them with two new ones.

Those plans were then changed a year later, when the council made a commitment for a "sweeping modernisation" of its health and fitness facilities.

It abandoned the earlier plans to pull down all three existing centres and instead invest in the combination of a new centre in Dudley and the refurbishments of the two others.

The plans received council backing in March 2018, but the revised, higher budget for the scheme will now have to be passed again by the full council.

"With the 2022 Commonwealth games coming to the region and the Metro plans set to include a nearby stop, this really is the perfect time for us to get started on this programme," said Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council.

"This investment will ensure good quality, modern, council-run leisure facilities continue to be available to people throughout the borough."

If approved, the Dudley centre will house a 25m swimming pool, health club with a large gym floor and group exercise studios, a five-court sports hall and an onsite café.

The council has worked in partnership with Alliance Leisure on the project.

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Dudley Council will hold a full meeting this month (October 2019) to decide whether it should approve a capital investment programme on improving the region's leisure provision.
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