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Newmarket Leisure Centre set to get £1.8 million package of improvements - upgrading its fitness facilities, creating new soft and sensory play area, and a new café and hospitality area




Councillors are set to approve a £1.8 million package of improvements to Newmarket Leisure Centre when they meet on Tuesday.

Following a consultation with centre users and its staff, a plan has been put together to upgrade its fitness and exercise facilities, create new soft and sensory play areas, a new café and hospitality area.

The proposal also allows for a general ‘refresh’ of the Exning Road facility which first opened just over 10 years ago.

Newmarket Leisure Centre, in Exning Road, is set to get a £1.8 million boost
Newmarket Leisure Centre, in Exning Road, is set to get a £1.8 million boost

The investment is designed to encourage more people to use the centre, so reducing the management fee paid by the council to centre operator Abbeycroft Leisure, from the current £400,000 a year to nil by 2024/2025.

Cllr Jo Rayner, West Suffolk Council cabinet member for leisure, culture and community hubs, said: “Our users told us they’d like to see three main things: improved opportunities for fitness and exercise; an improved café and hospitality, and better car parking. The scheme we are proposing would deliver against all these areas and more.”

Councillors are also being asked to consider parking facilities and have been requested to make a provision of £300,000 against car park improvements. Initially, £7,000 of this would be used to better manage occupancy and get a clearer picture of how the site, which is shared with Newmarket Academy, is used.

The leisure centre was open just over 10 years ago
The leisure centre was open just over 10 years ago

Depending on the outcome, there would then be the flexibility to introduce new measures including charging, although a report said centre users would not be charged to park for a period up to three hours.

The leisure centre design put forward has cost certainty, meaning that the risk of any cost over the £1.83 million requested would be borne by the contractor.

If approved, the improvement works will be carried out in phases and is set to start towards the end of next month with completion scheduled for early next summer.



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