New leisure centre funding proposal to be considered

Published Monday, 15th July 2019

Plans for a new leisure centre in Hartlepool are set to take a major step forward - if councillors agree to fund a feasibility study, an option appraisal and initial design works.

Officers at Hartlepool Borough Council are recommending that the Finance and Policy Committee reallocates £175,000 from the authority’s planned capital maintenance budget to cover the cost of these works.

At a meeting to be held on Monday July 22nd, councillors will be told it is vital that preparations for a new leisure centre are accelerated, given the age and life expectancy of the town’s existing Mill House Leisure Centre which was built in 1972.

Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of the Council and Chair of the Finance and Policy Committee, said: “The condition of the building is deteriorating and it will require significant investment of around £1.3 million over the next five years.

“In reality, Mill House Leisure Centre has exceeded its lifespan and is no longer fit for purpose.

“Although much work will remain to be done, it will be a significant milestone on the road to the town getting the new, modern leisure centre I am committed to delivering, so I hope the committee agrees to the re-allocation of funding.”

It is anticipated that the option appraisal, feasibility study and design works could be completed by March next year.

Meanwhile, a public consultation exercise is to be carried out over the summer which will seek to identify the mix of facilities required to encourage more people to participate in sport and leisure activities and barriers to participation.

Councillors will also hear at next week’s meeting that a new leisure centre is crucial for the health and well-being of the local population.

In a report to the committee, Assistant Director (Preventative and Community Based Services) Gemma Ptak says: “Physical activity contributes significantly towards the health and well-being outcomes of our population, including prevention and management of long-term limiting conditions.

“The major causes of illness and premature death in Hartlepool are circulatory diseases, respiratory diseases, digestive diseases and cancer. There is strong evidence that physical activity can reduce the risk of some of these diseases significantly. There is also significant evidence showing the association between physical activity and improved mental health.”