£14.8m leisure hub planned for Pontefract
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£14.8m leisure hub planned for Pontefract

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Wakefield Council has revealed plans to replace three existing swimming pools in West Yorkshire with a new £14.8m “flagship” leisure centre for the region.

Facilities at the new centre, to be located at Pontefract Park, will include a 10-lane swimming pool, studio pool with moveable floor and a splash pad water confidence area.

The centre will also house a large health and fitness club, exercise studios, a two-court sports hall, a ‘clip and climb’ area, café and soft play area as well as meeting rooms for community use and referral rooms for exercise and weight management support.

Outdoor facilities include tennis courts, an activity and exercise space and five-a-side 3G football pitches.

The plans now need to receive the green light from councillors when they are discussed in detail at a full cabinet meeting on 27 September.

At the meeting the findings from an independent feasibility study, carried out over the last six months, will be presented to support the plans.

Councillor Les Shaw, cabinet member of culture, leisure and sport said: “I believe we must seize this unique, and exciting opportunity to create a new future for the health and wellbeing in the area.

“We want to provide something that meets people’s needs now and going forward, that gives our residents the first class facilities they deserve. These proposals will deliver on this, giving people the chance to access sport, recreational, social and wellbeing activities which will help them live healthier lives.

“If it gets the go-ahead the new, Pontefract Park leisure and wellbeing centre will be the district’s flagship facility.”

If the proposals are successful, it would result in the closure of Castleford and Knottingley’s current leisure buildings in January 2017. It is proposed that Pontefract Pool would remain open until around the time the new centre was built.

“Wakefield Council spends more than £750,000 every year subsidising Knottingley Sports Centre and Castleford Pool,” Shaw added. “We simply cannot continue to do this.”

“Ideally, we would have liked to keep all the existing facilities open until the new leisure centre is built. However, this is just not possible. Over £146m has already been wiped off our budget and there are more government cuts to come.

"We are not prepared to jeopardise future investment in something as important to the Five Towns as this new leisure centre, so tough decisions need to be taken.”

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Wakefield Council has revealed plans to replace three existing swimming pools in West Yorkshire with a new £14.8m “flagship” leisure centre for the region.

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