October 23rd, 2016

Spiralling leisure centre revamp costs prompt concern

Spiralling leisure centre revamp costs prompt concern Spiralling leisure centre revamp costs prompt concern
Warwick District Council's vision for the revamp of Newbold Comyn. (s)

THE SPIRALLING cost of revamping the district’s leisure centres has prompted concern.

The multi-million pound facelift for St Nicholas Park and Newbold Comyn leisure centres was given the green light by Warwick District Council’s planning committee last week, but it was also revealed the cost had risen from £12million to nearly £15million.

The council’s Labour group has questioned if an expensive revamp is the best choice for the district, and if it will have an effect on plans to outsource the management of the centres.

Labour group leader Coun John Barrott said: “When the subject of upgrading our leisure centre facilities first came up, councillors were informed the minimum the council would need to invest to keep them running was £3million, but with a £12million investment we could have new, fit for the future facilities.

“In less than nine months the costs have increased dramatically.

“And this project only includes Leamington and Warwick – we haven’t even seen the plans for the Kenilworth investment yet!

“Given the spiraling costs of this project, the Labour group are saying they may prefer to invest only the £3million short-term while councillors and officers satisfy themselves that the financial risks of this major project can be properly controlled.”

The council were set to discuss spending some £635,800 from the project costs for ‘essential preparatory work’ to be completed on Wednesday (July 27).

The final decision on whether to go ahead with the planned revamp of the centres is set to be made by full council in October.