New leisure centre planned for Droitwich Spa

Councillors have given the green light to work up plans to build a new leisure centre for Droitwich Spa.

The current centre is more than 40 years old and no longer meets modern energy efficiency standards. The layout of the building also means it is not fit for purpose to meet the demands of modern-day leisure centre users.

A recent condition report found the centre was showing signs of its age and was operating way beyond its expected lifespan. The technology used to heat the swimming pool is a particular issue, with parts becoming difficult to find.

Refurbishing the existing building is not an option as it would require major reconstruction which would close the centre for up to 18 months.

It has been agreed to explore building a new centre at the back of the current site and the older 3G pitch in Salwarpe Valley, at an estimated cost of £20 million to £25 million.

The proposed centre would have the same facilities as Evesham Leisure Centre but with a six-lane swimming pool, seating for about 200 spectators and two squash courts.

A new multi-level soft play facility could also be included and a large café to attract visitors. It would also be built to modern energy-efficiency standards with the potential to significantly reduce its carbon emissions or potentially make it carbon neutral depending on the final design. Once the new centre was completed, the current centre would be demolished to make way for increased car parking.

At an Executive Board meeting on Wednesday (22 June) councillors agreed to spend up to £500,000 on a feasibility study to explore the proposals in more detail and come up with a final option for approval.

Cllr Chris Day, Executive Board Member for Housing, Health and Wellbeing on Wychavon District Council, said: "This is an exciting proposal which can deliver a much-needed, modern and fit for purpose facility to meet Droitwich Spa's leisure needs for the next 30 years and another example of our commitment to investing in supporting our residents' health and wellbeing. I look forward to seeing the full, detailed plan in due course."
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