One of the region’s biggest leisure developments got the final go-ahead last night (Wednesday 16 March) when Eastleigh councillors appointed the developers for Fleming Park Leisure Centre.
The decision was the final hurdle before work can start on the scheme.
Eastleigh Borough Council’s Cabinet have formally appointed Interserve, the international support service and construction group, as main contractor for the redevelopment of the centre. The building has been designed by AHR architects.
Since being unveiled as the council’s preferred construction partner, Interserve – whose Hampshire office is at Nursling, just outside the Eastleigh Borough boundary – have been working up detailed plans, timescales and costings. Work should get under way by the end of April.
Interserve uses local firms wherever possible, bringing additional economic benefits to the Eastleigh area. The company is currently building the University of Birmingham’s £40 million Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre Complex.
The new Fleming Park Leisure Centre will be a modern, efficient and environmentally-friendly facility designed to be in keeping with the park environment. It will include an expanded main pool, (increased from six- to eight-lane), a larger teaching pool, extended and upgraded gym facilities, a 15- court sports hall, an improved café – and will maintain free car parking.
Although similar in footprint to the existing building, the design makes better use of the space to increase the size of the facilities inside – and no additional green space will need to be lost to accommodate the centre.
The new Fleming Park Leisure Centre will take shape adjacent to the current building, with the existing centre continuing to operate as normal during the construction period, with customers able use all its facilities.
The centre is projected to cost £25 million to build, but this will be at no revenue cost to the Council and therefore no cost to the Council Tax-payer. The centre will be funded with grants from Sport England £2 million) and Netball England (£90,000) with the remainder from Eastleigh Borough Council.
Councillors have also extended, for a further 20 years, the contract of operators Places for People Leisure to run the new Fleming Park Leisure Centre, with the income from the new centre paying the remainder of the centre costs through a guaranteed management fee.
The Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Councillor Keith House, said: “We’ve been working with our partners to finalise our detailed plans and timescales and achieve a state-of-the art leisure centre that’s excellent value for Eastleigh residents, has high-quality design and specification, is in keeping with the park environment, has high environmental standards – and that can be delivered at no cost to Eastleigh’s council tax payers.”