A funding award of £1.5million has been finalised to support the project to transform Bath Sports and Leisure Centre into a modern and dynamic centre, for which work is due to start this week.
Bath & North East Somerset Council is working in partnership with charitable social enterprise GLL, which operates the Council’s leisure centres under the Better brand, to refurbish the centre with the aim of motivating more people to get more active more often.
The Council has also been working closely with Sport England to secure £1.5 million of National Lottery funding (which is administered by Sport England) by ensuring that the project suits their national aims of providing accessible leisure facilities that encourage people to live active lives.
Sport England has confirmed that it has conditionally approved this funding award towards the scheme, which was shared with the public via a series of engagement sessions earlier this year.
The approved scheme forms part of the Council’s £17m investment in improving leisure facilities across the district.
Preparatory work have been underway at the centre for the last few weeks, and the first phase of the regeneration is started this week.
The first phase of works will involve reinforcements to the structure of the building in the undercroft car park, a new mezzanine floor over half of the sports hall to accommodate and brand new health and fitness offer, a refurbished 4 court sports hall and the start of the 10 pin bowling alley provision.
The Sports Hall, Upper Sports Hall, Break Out Zone and some corridors will be closed during these works. However, every effort is being made to rehouse all bookings and ensure disruption is kept to a minimum with other facilities, such as the Bowls Hall and Pavilion, being utilised to accommodate badminton, table tennis, gymnastics clubs, and martial arts Clubs.
During this time the car park will be reduced but the Bath Recreation Ground Trust is kindly allowing users of the leisure centre to park in the hard court tennis courts at the rear of the centre.
This can be accessed by driving around the side of the building to the rear car park and then on through the gate into the courts. Stewards will be available to assist and additional signage will be provided.
Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “This funding from Sport England will form part of the Council’s £17 million investment to improve local leisure centres and create new leisure facilities across the district, including those in Bath, Culverhay and Keynsham.
“I would like to thank Sport England for their support with this funding and in working with us to develop our plans to ensure the transformation of Bath Sports and Leisure Centre meets the joint aims of Sport England and the Council’s Fit for Life Strategy.
“We want to get more people involved in sport and physical activity to help to reduce the health inequalities that exist within the district by encouraging people who don’t currently do any physical activity at all to take it up regularly.
“Whilst other councils are having to close their leisure centres, our plans will give Bath Sports and Leisure Centre a sustainable future to ensure residents can continue to benefit from public leisure services for years to come.
“This refurbishment will create a place for the local community to be proud of and, with something for everyone, it will be a fantastic environment for getting fitter and healthier whilst having fun.”
The extensive programme of repairs, upgrades and new additions at Bath Sports and Leisure Centre is set to create a building and facilities that will be a pleasure to use and a real asset to the community long into the future.
The plans include:
- A new teaching and leisure pool;
- Transformation of the beach area of the fun pool into an interactive water-play area for children of all ages and abilities;
- New and improved changing spaces;
- An enhanced fitness suite;
- New double-storey soft play attraction;
- New studio space and party rooms;
- A trampoline park – wall-to-wall trampolines that are all connected together and have sides made up of angled trampolines to create one huge park where you can literally bounce off the walls;
- 8-lane ten-pin bowling;
- A remodelled reception space to create a more open-plan feel with better views of the pool;
- Creation of a new spa experience with treatment rooms and a relaxation area.
All the work carried out in phases so that it can remain open. If any facilities are temporarily out of action during the work, the centre will do all it can to provide them at an alternative venue.
The investment in leisure centres in Bath, Keynsham and Culverhay will help support delivery of the Council’s ambitious Fit for Life strategy, which is designed to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in the area, now and into the future.
Its aim is to motivate more people to get more active more often – especially families, young people, older people and those who are overweight – and find ways to make physical activity more central to people’s lives.
The strategy also puts the spotlight on the contribution that sport and physical activity can make to Bath and North East Somerset’s economy, how they can help boost local communities by bringing people together and reducing social isolation, and the role they play in creating a sustainable environment.
To find out more about your local leisure centre go to www.better.org.uk.