Investment expected into new sport facilities

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A major shake-up of sporting facilities in the district is expected - and this could include a new sports hall for Leamington.

But most of the investment is expected to take place up the road in Kenilworth.

Warwick District Council (WDC) has not yet released exact details of its possible ideas but it has hinted at investment into Newbold Comyn in Leamington. On top of that, the council has mentioned a possible sports hall in Leamington - but the details are being kept confidential.

However, WDC has suggested that as well as investment, services may be also be ‘streamlined’.

Officials are keeping tightlipped about the specific details but they have suggested a new multi-million pound leisure centre in Kenilworth - meaning possible closure of the swimming pool at Abbey Fields. The WDC executive is expected to approve a £300,000 feasibility study to look into ‘streamlining’ leisure services when it meets on Wednesday.

The council could then spend up to £30 million on improvements - including a new sports and swimming centre at Kenilworth’s South Farm.

It is hoped the move will put an end to outdated facilities and meet the “growing needs” of the district.

Andrew Mobbs, leader of WDC, would not comment on any potential closures, stating only that they must explore all options to secure the best future for the region’s facilities.

He said that any changes to St Nicholas Park and Newbold Comyn would be “pure enhancement” with major changes focused in Kenilworth, adding: “This will underpin and strengthen improvements to services in Leamington and Warwick. We need to meet the growing needs of our district for leisure services and this is a way in which we can do that.”

“This is about looking at the best way forward to improve our services and achieve cost savings, The meeting next week is about agreeing in principal to exploring how we can enhance facilities and meet the needs of the district. We want to achieve all of that and bring about cost savings while realigning our services.”

But in this very early stage it is simply about investigating our options.”

The council still needs to make millions of pounds of savings over the next five years to stay on budget and it has been found that it can make “substantial savings” by outsourcing facilities to a private contractor. Management of a new centre would likely be outsourced, despite remaining under council ownership.