Bury St. Edmunds: Further investments for leisure centre on the table

Bury St. Edmunds: Further investments for leisure centre on the table

Image source, George King/BBC

Image description, Previous plans to build a leisure centre on the site in Olding Road, Bury St Edmunds, would have required a 40-year loan.

West Suffolk Council plans to invest several million pounds to improve Bury St Edmunds leisure centre and bring a disused depot back into use.

A meeting on 16 July will discuss investing a further £2.15 million in the leisure centre, in addition to the £6.2 million already agreed for maintenance and improvements.

Plans will also be discussed for the disused Olding Road depot, which costs the council £300,000 a year to maintain, including security costs.

  • Author, Ben Parker
  • Role, BBC News, Suffolk

The council said there had been a “preliminary proposal” for a trampoline and virtual reality experience at the former depot.

There are plans to convert larger parts of the site into storage and warehousing areas.

A comprehensive renovation of the leisure center is planned. The additional investment could extend the life of the facility by another ten years.

The plans include a new sports hall floor, a new café and a redesigned main entrance area.

Diane Hind, the council’s cabinet member for resources, said: “The proposal for the site on Olding Road in Bury St Edmunds… fits in with the surrounding higher education, skate park and leisure facilities and helps to make this area a destination for young people.”

Image description, £6.2 million had already been earmarked for the Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre

What do people think?

Image source, George King/BBC

Image description, Zak Hobbs and Hayden Ingram, both 18, use the leisure centre

Zak Hobbs said he thought improving fitness facilities would help attract more people.

He said: “An injection of cash would be good to improve the facilities. I think it would be a good investment.”

Hayden Ingram said the current facilities had limited the number of people visiting the leisure centre. “The only good thing about this place is the swimming pool,” he said.

Image source, George King/BBC

Image description, Caroline Ryan said a new cafe would be good for families

Caroline Ryan, who uses the leisure centre, said the investment would be welcome.

“The swimming pool and changing rooms are quite outdated and definitely need to be renovated,” she said.

Image source, George King/BBC

Image description, Celine Roy, who works for the NHS, praised the leisure centre

Celine Roy said the leisure centre could attract more people and she hoped some of the money would be used to improve the cafe.

“I would like the café to be a bit bigger,” she says. “In the summer, a lot of people want to come in there.”

Audio subtitlesListen: Is a leisure investment right for Bury St Edmunds?
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