Plans for Kirkby’s new leisure centre have taken another step forward.
Following consultation with residents and stakeholders in September 2019, the Council has further developed its plans for the new facility.
The consultation held in the autumn saw a positive and productive response, providing insight into what is important to residents.
The results showed that 93% of people said health and wellbeing was important to them. The plans have therefore now incorporated a dedicated health and wellbeing suite, with a sensory room.
Seventy-five per cent of people said they would welcome a swimming pool in Kirkby. The latest plans include a swimming pool and water play. Careful consideration will also be taken to ensure the pool is not over programmed.
Gym and fitness was important to 72% of respondents to the consultation. The leisure facility will therefore have a larger gym area than originally planned. This includes a dedicated area for weight training, a spinning studio and fitness studio.
Sixty-nine per cent of people said it was important to have activities for all. The latest mix of facilities includes adventure play and water play for young children, as well as warmer water suitable for families and those with long term conditions or disabilities. The purpose-build sports hall will suit those wanting to play sports and attend film screenings. The facility mix also includes a café for those wanting to socialise and adventure climbing for young adults wanting a challenge.
The latest plans have been showcased this week at events at Festival Hall and Kirkby in Ashfield Market Place.
Councillor Andy Meakin, Vice-Chairman of Ashfield District Council said: “The plans have really taken shape since we consulted with residents last year. We have listened to what is important to those who will ultimately use the facility once it is complete.
“The facility mix provides something for everyone with some additional activities that aren’t available for miles around. This leisure centre will be a facility that Kirkby can be really proud of.”
The plans have been endorsed by local Paralympic champion Ollie Hynd MBE. He said: “It’s great to see the views of residents are being listened to and acted on. I can’t wait to see the leisure centre start coming to life.
“The swimming aspect of the plans are of course very important to me. Having these facilities in my hometown can only be beneficial to the people of Kirkby and hopefully we will see more successful home grown swimmers coming from the town.”
Working alongside Sport England, Ashfield District Council has been invited to apply for funding for the project and the initial expression of interest has been submitted.
Alongside the build, the Council has developed and written a new contract to manage and operate Leisure Centres in the District.
The new contract will start in April 2021 and has a clear focus on improving health and wellbeing both within the sites and in communities. It will also include investment into Hucknall and Lammas Leisure Centres and reducing Ashfield’s carbon footprint.
Festival Hall will remain open during the build of the new leisure facility in Kirkby. Once the centre is open, the current building Hall will be demolished and make way for additional car parking.