Plans for new Sheffield leisure centre submitted

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Plans for a new £7m leisure centre and swimming pool in the north of Sheffield have been submitted.

The North Active complex, proposed for a corner of Thorncliffe Recreation Ground in High Green, will include facilities such as a six-lane 25m swimming pool, a separate learner pool, a multi-use studio and a fitness suite, over two levels.

It will also house several health consulting rooms, treatment rooms and space for other services, such as podiatry, as part of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM), which is a 2012 Olympic Legacy project.

But if the new pool is built, Chapeltown Baths would close.

It is understood staff from the baths would be transferred to the new centre and it is hoped no jobs would be lost.

Sheffield Council is to invest around £2.5m into North Active, alongside partner contributions from the NCSEM, Ecclesfield Parish Council and a potential contribution from Sport England.

Coun Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure said: “If approved this plan will provide a modern health and leisure complex in the north of our city, aimed at helping people to become more physically active.

“The investment will dramatically improve the quality of leisure facilities in the area, which will increase participation levels and therefore improve health.

“At the same time, a new facility will have lower running costs than older facilities offering affordability into the future.

“We are very grateful to our partners who together are supporting more than half of the build costs.

“Our partnership with the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine will offer a major opportunity to bring together health services and activity under one roof.

“This concept will be also be adopted at Concord Sports Centre and the redeveloped Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre.”

The centre is expected to open in February, 2016.

Plans are also in the pipeline to overhaul Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre in the south of the city, also in partnership with the NCSEM.

A planning application is expected to be submitted in the coming weeks.

The NCSEM money is part of £10m of Olympic legacy funding being invested into Sheffield to try and enable more people to become active.

Sir Andrew Cash, chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “The plans for the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine at North Active are yet another significant step towards changing the culture to make it easier for everyone to be active every day, and shows that we are serious about transforming Sheffield into the most active city in the UK.

“Using exercise as part of a patient’s recovery and rehabilitation as well as using it to prevent ill health has been proven to have significant benefits and Sheffield will be looking to take advantage of this through the facilities within the North Active development as well as those at Concord and Graves.”

David Morton, clerk to Ecclesfield Parish Council, said: “The parish council has been working closely with the city council from the beginning of this important project.

“We welcome the progress being made and look forward to considering the planning application.”