Sunderland’s leaders to debate new Washington leisure centre plans

Councillor John Kelly

Councillor John Kelly

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DETAILS have been released over plans to rebuild an ailing Wearside leisure centre.

An £11million cashpot to rebuild Washington Leisure Centre was announced as part Sunderland City Council’s £60million capital programme earlier this year.

Now a report on progress, which includes the tendering process and possible timetable of works, has been prepared.

It will be put before the authority’s ruling cabinet, at a meeting at the Civic Centre, from 2pm, on Wednesday.

A new centre would be built next to the existing Washington Leisure Centre, which will be demolished once the new facility is completed.

Councillor John Kelly, cabinet member for public health, wellness and culture, said: “The present Washington Leisure Centre is an ageing facility which is coming to the end of its economic life.

“The proposed investment could help secure the long-term sporting leisure provision for Washington and contribute towards the overall strategic provision for Sunderland City Council.

“The report to cabinet states that the current centre, which dates back to 1973, is reaching the end of its design life and a full refurbishment could cost more than £7million.

“I’m looking forward to presenting this report to the cabinet.”

A new centre would replace the swimming pool, wellness centre, sauna and steam room, sports hall and soft play – and provide new artificial turf pitches.

The £11million budget has been based on the current available industry acceptable data, but will be depend on the final mix and tender submission.

It includes £300,000 which has been ring-fenced for relocating the wheeled sports park on to the same site.

The report adds how there has been a consultation exercise on sport and leisure facilities with the council’s Community Spirit panel, existing users of the centre, equality groups and schools. Feedback will be used in design requirements within the overall budget.

Subject to tendering work, construction could start on site in November 2013 with an estimated completion date of December 2014.

The old centre would not be demolished until the new facility opens.

Demolition and establishment of the external pitches is programmed for completion by June 2015.

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