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Consultation begins on leisure proposals

Published on Monday, August 07, 2017

PEOPLE in Leicester are being given the chance to comment on proposals that would improve facilities at four popular city council leisure centres and transform the environment at all of the city’s older swimming pools.

New investment in the facilities at Evington, Aylestone, Braunstone and Cossington would create more space for health and fitness activities – such as dance and spin classes – and upgrade existing gym equipment.

Under the proposals, the under-used bar area at Aylestone Leisure Centre would be converted into a new fitness area, the sports hall at Cossington Sports Centre would become a 50-station gym with dance studio, a new dance studio would be created at Evington Leisure Centre, and its existing gym would almost double in size, while Braunstone Leisure Centre would get a new designated dance/exercise studio, as well as new gym equipment.

Brand new air conditioning systems would be installed in the city’s pools at Aylestone, Cossington, Evington, Leicester Leys, New Parks and Spence Street, making the environment much more pleasant for swimmers, spectators and staff, while opening hours at all pools would be revised to reflect local demand.

As part of the 12-week consultation, which starts today (7 August), people will be asked whether they think it’s important that the council continues to run leisure centres in the city – and whether they agree that new investment is necessary to upgrade the council’s facilities and attract more customers.

They will also be asked to comment on proposals to reduce pool opening hours at off-peak times to help the city council find £1.5million of savings in its sports services budget over the next three years.

Assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sport Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “Unlike in some other cities, where councils have transferred their leisure centres to private operators, we think it’s important that people in Leicester continue to have access to good quality, affordable leisure facilities that are provided by their local council.

“In order to do this, we’re proposing to upgrade four of our leisure centres and all of our older swimming pools with new investment of around £1.8million. The improvements we’re proposing would help us bring in the additional income we need to reduce the impact of the savings that cuts to our budgets are forcing us to make.

“We’re also proposing to rationalise the opening hours at our swimming pools, with small adjustments made to reflect local demand. Under the proposals, opening times at our smaller pools could be reduced, while hours would be extended, or remain largely the same, at our larger pools.

“Before any decisions are made, however, we want anyone who uses our leisure centres to let us know what they think of the proposals by taking part in this consultation.”

The consultation is now under way and runs until Sunday 29 October.

People can complete the form online at consultations.leicester.gov.uk

Paper copies of the questionnaire will also be available at all city council leisure centres.

Feedback from the consultation will be taken into consideration before any final decisions are made.