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Sports Centre Refurbishment Takes Important Step Forward

The reopening of Kidsgrove Sports Centre has taken a further step forward with the community group which will run the centre and the Council agreeing to bring on board a major construction company to fully price the refurbishment.

The Council and Kidsgrove Community Interest Organisation (CIO) agree that procuring this service through the SCAPE national construction framework – with a view to awarding a contract – is the most sensible and practical route to reopening the gym and swimming pool in spring 2021 as planned.

The estimated cost – provided free of charge – will inform a full business case assessment, including anticipated income and expenditure for the centre’s full operation, before the Council makes a decision on funding the refurbishment costs.

Reopening the gym and pool represents the quickest and most affordable option for re-providing leisure facilities in the north of the borough. Work is now going on to nail down the costs. There is now also greater clarity on the likely level of ongoing subsidy that will be required from the Council.

Willmott Dixon will be appointed through the SCAPE framework and are committed to involving local businesses in construction work and maximising local spend by supporting local businesses, employing local apprentices and paying sub-contractors promptly. 

Council Leader Simon Tagg said: “The Council is committed to providing sports and swimming facilities in Kidsgrove by enabling the reopening of Kidsgrove Sports Centre. We continue to work closely with the CIO to develop their detailed proposals and really good progress is being made.

“This is an exciting stage in our discussions and another step closer to seeing the sports centre open its doors again. We are working hard to progress the scheme so we can complete the transfer of the building and enter into a formal funding commitment.

“I’m delighted that we’re able to use a company that not only has a great reputation across the country in the leisure industry but also works to benefit the local economy.”

The CIO’s revised design and business model, compiled using expert industry knowledge, now includes a larger changing facility, revenue from soft play and use of additional community space.

Two new recruits to the board have substantial knowledge of setting up and successfully operating leisure trusts. A Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) approved management accountant, who comes with extensive experience, has also joined.

Mark Clews, representing Kidsgrove CIO, added: “This is a substantial step forward for the project and brings the prospect of affordable community leisure for Kidsgrove closer. We have always stated that we believe that the plans we have developed are not only community led, but also the quickest and cheapest way to bring about leisure provision to the north of the borough.”

Further reports will be presented to Cabinet following the completion of the business case in spring 2020.

Last updated 15 January 2020

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