First phase of Newmarket Leisure Centre's £1.8 million upgrade to be complete by Christmas
The first phase of Newmarket Leisure Centre's £1.8 million upgrade is set to be complete by Christmas.
The initial phase of building work at the centre will see extra space created in the first floor gym together with new changing rooms. But, because of the upgrades, the sauna and steam room are set to permanently close.
The investment, which is the first general 'refresh' since the Exning Road facility first opened 10 years ago, is designed to encourage more people to use the leisure centre.
It is hoped with more visitors West Suffolk Council will be able to reduce the management fee paid by the authority to centre operator Abbeycroft Leisure, from the current £400,000 to nil by 2024/25.
Cllr Jo Rayner, cabinet member for leisure, culture and community hubs, said: "We are using an investment fund that we created to support our cornerstone of healthy families and communities, to upgrade leisure centres and provide more opportunities for local people to be social and active.
"We asked local people what they valued about Newmarket Leisure Centre and what they would want to see. The investment builds on strengths as a social hub with excellent 'fitness for health' credentials by providing amazing new soft play and café areas, improved gym and changing facilities, and extra studio and therapy room capacity.
"I hope users will be delighted with this tailored approach and thank them for bearing with us during the work."
Swimming pool and sports hall facilities will not be affected, but there may be temporary reception arrangements during the three phase project.
Warren Smyth, Chief Executive of Abbeycroft Leisure, said “In the New Year we begin work on the new heart of the leisure centre with the ground floor café and soft play areas, and once those are open in the spring, we return to the first floor to complete the new studio and therapy spaces.
"The end result will be a great leisure destination with a real community feel, which is just what users expressed they’d like to see.”
Work on the leisure centre is scheduled to end in summer next year.