Full details revealed for new-look leisure centre in Woodbridge
PUBLISHED: 10:15 04 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:39 04 January 2017
Proposals have been submitted for the first phase of a major project to refurbish public leisure centres in three Suffolk towns.
Woodbridge’s Deben Pool is set to be the first to undergo renovation as part of Suffolk Coastal’s leisure centre redevelopment programme.
Plans designed with the council’s operating and development partners, Places for People and Pulse Fitness, include a new storey extension of the building in Station Road, with a larger 50-station gym on the first floor.
The front of the building will be demolished, and a mature maple tree felled to make way for the extension, while the existing swimming pool will remain in place, with plans for a single storey thermal suite extension at the rear, housing a steam and sauna room, ice room and lounge area.
Original plans had included only ‘village changing’ facilities for both male and female customers. However, following five public meetings and engagement with existing members, the official proposal has been revised to include separate male and female changing rooms for gym users on the first floor.
Meanwhile, a village changing area will be built on the ground floor, with four family cubicles, four parent and child cubicles and 11 individual cubicles.
In the council’s first newsletter on the project, published at the beginning of last month, leisure chief TJ Haworth-Culf explained village changing rooms were the preferred option for most new pools, and offered the most cost-effective and easily managed arrangement.
Each cubicle will have a lockable door, a bench and clothing hooks, with cubicle showers also leading to and from the pool, and a shared locker area for up to 108 swimmers.
An individual disabled changing area is included in the plans, along with two group changing rooms, primarily for the use of schools and junior clubs.
Other additions include an indoor cycling room, which will double as a dance studio, with full height windows allowing the passing public to see the type of fitness classes provided.
The expansion should also provide an additional six full-time jobs.
Suffolk Coastal will meet next month to agree its capital programme for 2017/18, which includes the Woodbridge leisure centre redevelopment. A final business case will then go before the cabinet in March, with Pulse Fitness asked to appoint a contractor for work to start as soon as autumn.
Deben Pool will be the first leisure centre to be upgraded, followed by Leiston and Felixstowe.
It was built with money raised by the former Woodbridge Community Council and opened in May 1973 – originally with an open-air pool, then covered with a roof in 1984.