£1.8m investment confirmed for Newmarket Leisure Centre
24 Jul 2019
West Suffolk Council’s Cabinet confirmed a £1.8m investment in new facilities for Newmarket Leisure Centre at its meeting on Tuesday 23 July. The investment is designed to encourage more people to be more active, and to reduce the management fee paid by owner West Suffolk Council to its leisure provider, not-for-profit charitable social enterprise, Abbeycroft Leisure.
Subject to final approval, work is set to begin at the end of August and be completed in phases to ensure minimum impact on customers, who have helped inform the design and who will be kept closely informed. It is anticipated that the first phase will be undertaken on the first floor, to provide an enhanced gym and brand new changing rooms. Work will then move to the ground floor to provide a brand new soft play and sensory play area, and café and hospitality area. Finally, the new studios on the first floor and ground floor spin facilities will be completed early summer 2020. The sports hall and swim facilities are not affected.
Cllr Jo Rayner, West Suffolk Council Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs said,
I am delighted that we can press on with giving Newmarket the upgraded leisure centre it deserves. The staff and users have a very supportive relationship which is a great starting point for ensuring everyone is kept informed throughout the process.’
Cabinet also confirmed a provision of £300,000 against car park improvements. Initially £7000 of this will be used to get a clearer picture of how the site is used. This understanding will be used to better manage occupancy and depending on the outcome, gives the flexibility to consider new measures, which could include a free but limited waiting time as at other destinations.
Warren Smyth, CEO of Abbeycroft Leisure, which manages leisure centres on West Suffolk Council’s behalf said
‘The successful refit of Haverhill Leisure Centre has just been delivered by the project team. We have taken that learning and spent time understanding how it can be enhance the Newmarket experience. Our gym team here has won national recognition as the Leisure Trust Gym Of The Year and we are also working on health on referral work, with an NHS studio and closer ties to practitioners. The soft play and sensory play will help give young children an active start to life, as well as a social space, and the range of exercise classes will be expanded with additional studios. We hope customers will be delighted with the outcome.’