Cash-strapped Slough set to approve £33 million of new sport and leisure facilities tomorrow

Slough’s Cabinet may be looking at finding £million of additional cuts tomorrow night but it will be also be asked to approve a £33 million capital investment in three new leisure facilities in the town.

The Centre on Farnham Road will be demolished in October and a new leisure centre, including an 8-lane swimming pool, will open in autumn 2018.

The Centre on Farnham Road will be demolished in October and a new leisure centre, including an 8-lane swimming pool, 5-court sports hall, and 125-station gym, will open in Autumn 2018.

Ambitious leisure plans for the town that aim to get more people, more active, more often will be shown to Cabinet members when they meet tomorrow night (18 January).

At the same time as commissioners will be asked to consider the town’s perilous financial situation and consider further cost-cutting and an increase in Council Tax, Cabinet members will be shown plans to deliver three major capital development schemes as part of the council’s wider leisure strategy.

The three projects, agree in July 2014 with adoption of a five year leisure strategy, include a replacement facility for Montem Leisure Centre, improvement works to Slough Ice Arena and Langley Leisure Centre to extend their lifespan and a new community sports facility to be developed on the Arbour Park site.

Councillor Martin Carter, commissioner for community and leisure, said:

It’s no secret that as a town we need to increase the amount of sport and physical exercise we all do to become more active, more often – and not just after Christmas and New Year – but by adopting exercise as a habit for life

“Granted, this is no easy task as it takes time and effort to change life-long habits but it also takes good quality, affordable leisure facilities that are accessible to all. While I can’t change people’s habits, I can make sure Slough has high quality leisure facilities that attract and encourage people to improve their health”.

In a report to Cabinet officers note that

“Good leisure facilities can improve the image of the town, making Slough a destination for sport and physical activity for local residents who will take a pride in the promotion of their use.

“The leisure strategy and improved leisure facilities contribute towards addressing key priorities as set out in the JSNA including childhood obesity, positive activities for young people and cardio vascular disease.”

Arbour Park Community Sports Facility – £8 million

In July 2015, Cabinet members made the decision to phase the development of the CSF with phase one starting in September 2015 and on track to finish in August 2016.

Phase two of the scheme will deliver the first floor accommodation of the main stand and will continue without interrupting the opening and operation of the overall facility in August 2016.

Phase two of the CSF will include:

  • Flexible function room with 160 seating capacity
  • Bar
  • Kitchen (commercial)
  • Board / directors room
  • External balcony area
  • Wash rooms
  • Lift

The timescales for the development have been driven by the necessity to provide an FA and FIFA compliant facility for the start of the 2016/17 football season. Phase one will deliver this.

The completion of phase two is estimated to be delivered in spring 2017.

New Leisure Centre, Farnham Road – £17.8 million

In March 2014 cabinet members agreed to The Centre being the preferred site for a new leisure centre, replacing the existing Montem Leisure Centre and instructed officers to develop a feasibility and business case model for the new facility.

A masterplan for the site and concept designs for the new facility have been drawn up to include a mix of leisure, residential and other community facilities and services.

Slough Clinical Commissioning Group has shown an interest in co-locating on the site which offers an opportunity to provide local people with a leisure and health centre on one site.

The residential development and a health centre will be built on the wider development site after completion of the leisure centre – this will ensure the building of the new leisure centre is not delayed.

The current scheme being considered for the new leisure centre aims to deliver:

  • an eight lane swimming pool with separate teaching pool with moveable floor, spectator seating for 100 and wet side changing village
  • five court sports hall
  • 125 station gym
  • three exercise studios
  • dry side changing facilities
  • facilities for consultation rooms e.g. physiotherapy and sports injury clinic.

The Centre building will be demolished in October 2016 and the new leisure centre will open in autumn 2018.

Slough Ice Arena – £7.7 million

The Ice Arena development works will ensure a scheme that is in keeping with the proposed residential development on the Montem Leisure Centre site and will provide a facility that offers a wider choice of opportunities for activity

Proposals for the Ice Arena improvements include:

  • An extension to the front of the building to make it more visible from Bath Road and provide additional space for other activities
  • Replacing all major plant including refrigeration and heating systems
  • All utility supplies and major plant to be stand alone from the leisure centre
  • Over cladding of main roof structure
  • Replacement of ice rink barrier and protective glass
  • New LED lighting system
  • New seating
  • New flooring
  • New café
  • New reception area
  • Major improvement to internal facilities (changing and wash rooms) and decoration to all parts of the building.

It is estimated the improvement works will take nine months to complete and the facility will need to close for this whole period. The work will start in the Autumn.

 

Cabinet meets tomorrow at Chalvey Community Centre from 6:30pm.  The meeting is open to the public.

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