Ambitious plans to create a brand new leisure centre for Flitwick are part of a leisure strategy that was given the go-ahead by Central Beds Council this week.
The procurement of a leisure management contract for three leisure centres in Bedfordshire, including Flitwick, was approved by councillors at a meeting on Tuesday.
The strategy includes proposals to build a brand new facility comprising an eight-lane 25-metre swimming pool, a four-court sports hall and a range of other sports facilities.
A report to councillors said: “This is a phased scheme, which aims to deliver a significant improvement to the quality and supply of leisure facilities for the area when compared to the existing centre.
“The new centre will provide additional water space and expansion of the fitness equipment along with associated space for a range of sport and physical activities, and a café.
“It will also provide significant improvements to energy efficiency and avoid £2 million life cycle costs associated with the existing centre.
“A business case requires further development but the exact specification will aim to maximise a return on the council’s capital investment.
“The first phase is re-provision of football pitches. The scheme is required because the proposed site for a new Flitwick Leisure Centre is on existing playing pitches which must be reprovided before the leisure centre can be built.”
As part of the plans Central Beds Council will be looking to knock down the current building on Steppingley Road and build a brand new centre next to it
The news was welcomed by Flitwick Town Council, who say they have been working on this project for a number of years.
Town mayor Phillip Thompson said: “Flitwick Town Council is delighted that Central Beds Council leisure strategy indicates that a new leisure centre and provision of new football pitches is planned for Flitwick.
“I hope this will be delivered as soon as possible.
“I would like to see the full specification of the leisure centre before making any further comments. Flitwick Town Council has been working towards delivery of this project for some years, particularly with local football clubs for much-needed football pitch provision.”
After the meeting Councillor Brian Spurr, executive member for sustainable communities, services, said: “We are acutely aware of the importance of leisure facilities to local residents and their contribution to the health and wellbeing of the local community.
“This approval for the procurement of a leisure management contract for these leisure centres is a positive step forwards.
“Pre-procurement work has already been used to inform our thinking about future facility development and procurement of an operating partner for these facilities.”
The proposal will go before the council in February.