Great news for Littlehampton residents and visitors to our beautiful seaside town. Councillors at Arun District Council have unanimously agreed Arun District Council’s (ADC) to build a new Leisure centre including a new 25 meter swimming pool.
Littlehampton’s new leisure centre will be located at the existing Sea Road site with the new building being built on the site of the existing Sport’s Dome, thereby allowing the existing swimming pool, gym and cafe to continue to operate during the building works.
Facilities at Littlehampton’s new Leisure Centre will include:
- 25 metre pool
- Learner pool with a moveable floor
- Gym – circa 450 m2 giving up to 85 stations
- Spinning Studio
- Multipurpose meeting room
- Dome will be replaced with a 4 court sports hall
- 2 flexible studios that will be able to accommodate many of the activities that take place in the existing sports dome.
- new facility will be DDA Compliant.
New facility will not include a 50 metre swimming pool.
Some will be disappointed that the new facility does not include a 50metre swimming pool, however Arun advise that this wouldn’t be possible as the costs of constructing one would increase the project costs by an estimated £3m and the subsequent running costs would be considerably higher.
Dome users will have no facilities while works are underway
Unfortunately current users of the Dome will see this facility taken away as the new building is being built on this part of the site. Arun advise that Freedom Leisure are currently working on ways of providing alternative facilities.
Littlehampton Residents Concerns.
Some residents had worried that the new facility would be located in North Littlehampton, however Arun District Council have now decided that new facilities will be located in the existing site, which is great news for Littlehampton’s seafront.
Others have worried that the new facility will require trees to be felled in Littlehampton’s Mewsbrook Park and Ruby Gardens. Although some trees will have to be felled to allow building works, Arun advise that will take place outside of the nesting season and will be kept to a minimum. They also promise to replant trees to replace those felled.
Impact on the Aqua Youth Centre
Apart from what Arun describe as some small alterations to the layout of the Aqua Youth Centre, Arun advise that this much-loved and tremendous local sailing facility will continue to operate as normal.
Building works begin in Spring 2017
Building of the new facilities is expected to begin as early as Spring 2017 and completion by April 2019.
Arun District Council are giving assurances that works will not disrupt existing leisure facility users and current car parking arrangements and access will be maintained.
The new facility is expected to cost £15million and Arun are a little unclear as to how this will be funded. They state that funding will come from:
- Capital receipts
- Borrowing (which Arun describe as ‘prudent borrowing’.
- Grant from Sport England
Arun have yet to have grant funding from Sport England approved, and it’s unclear if they’ve actually yet applied for a grant, yet this is still classified as a funding source. Somewhat worrying, as what happens if Sport England reject their grant application?
Who pays then, and more importantly, how much?
Although this is very much welcome news for Littlehampton and Arun residents, we should all keep a close eye on the project’s progress to ensure that what’s promised is actually delivered.
Once the new facility has been built, Arun advise that the old facility will be demolished and the area turned into a public space.
As always thanks for reading, your comments welcome.