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23 April 2013

Ambitious plans for Ellesmere Port’s iconic £15 million sports and leisure village, which will provide state-of-the-art sporting facilities for local residents, goes before Executive for approval next week (Wednesday, May 1).

Plans for the increased leisure offer on the town’s former Stanney High School site, including an eight-court badminton hall with a seating capacity of 1400, eight-lane competition swimming pool and 80-station gym will meet the town’s predicted needs in growth and usage until at least 2030.

Future expansion will also provide an indoor athletics straight to complement the competition athletics track already in situ at the site and discussions are underway to upgrade the facility’s all weather football pitches. The finished build will have the capacity to host regional and televised events.

The report before Executive by Director of Growth and Prosperity, Charlie Seward, follows extensive consultation with local residents, sporting organisations, key stakeholder groups, councillors and MPs and will be funded through the Council’s capital budget programme and Sport England.

Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, Councillor Stuart Parker, said: “This ambitious project is a huge investment by the council and shows our commitment to providing our residents with a state-of-the-art new sports and leisure village.

“As part of our far-reaching consultation we have listened to the local swimming club and recognise their aspirations for a 50 metre pool but our extensive research shows that a pool of that size in Ellesmere Port is simply not required.

“We don’t have the funds – either within our capital budget or via revenue streams – to build and maintain a 50 metre pool and importantly evidence suggests that it might even affect other facilities in the Borough if it were to be built.

“At the heart of all of our work on this project has been the need for this to become an integral community facility, fully inclusive and accessible to all and I hope residents will see that local needs are met in the final designs.

“I believe that our designs are extremely exciting and will offer our residents in Ellesmere Port, and indeed visitors from further afield, high-class facilities and an opportunity to try out new sports for a reasonable cost.”