Eastleigh Borough Council have agreed to spend £45,000 to investigate the feasibility of replacing Fleming Park Leisure Centre with a new facility to be built on the site of the current Civic Offices at a cost of up to £22 million.
The council say they want to celebrate the 2016 Rio Olympics in 2016 with a major re-launch of the Leisure Centre and ‘re-invent’ sports provision in the area.
Last week the Cabinet heard how the current aging facility would require up to £4 million spent on maintenance over the next eight years.
Councillor Alan Broadhurst – Cabinet lead for leisure explained:
“Some parts of it are getting a bit old and tired and I n need of repairs
“It’s got to the point now where it needs a major rebuild on the existing site to bring it up to modern standards else we must look at a new site. It is really a very successful centre with 1.2 million visits a year.
“We do need to consider working with the Health Authority – they might like to share facilities with us. There is great opportunity here to get that centre set up for the next 25 years.
“It was a good centre when it was built but it is now showing its age”
The proposed new facility would occupy a smaller footprint due to multi-story car parking and would be designed to capitalise on food and beverage sales – the inclusion of a sports shop and a pharmacy are also being considered.
The council is already proposing to borrow £36 million to fund the purchase of the Rose Bowl and construct a Spa Hotel and golf course at the site. It has been predicted that the council’s existing borrowing on capital investment could already rise to as much as £118 in the medium term without the added cost of rebuilding the Leisure Centre, but it is hoped that up to 50% of the total could be met by funding from other sources like Sport England and local health partners.
The council will be moving out of their current offices and re-locating to the town centre in 2013.
One option being considered would be to demolish the existing civic offices and law court and construct the new leisure centre while the existing facility continues to operate.
Over £2 million has been spent on improvements to the leisure centre since 2002 and a £185K was spent on fitting solar panels to the roof last year.