St Nics expansion planned in £12million leisure investment

St Nicholas Park.  08JUL103
St Nicholas Park. 08JUL103
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A major multi-million pound revamp could be heading to St Nicholas Park if councillors agree the next steps in a £12million spend on leisure centre upgrades next week.

Warwick District Council’s executive is being urged to approve a series of recommendations to progress its leisure development programme and invest “significant capital sums” into upgrades.

Plans for St Nicholas Park include more than doubling the size of the existing gym, an extra fitness and dedicated spinning studio, new pool side and outdoor changing rooms, plus a new entrance.

Expansion would allow for activities shared across Myton School sports hall to move to one site. But thousands more sports users could mean problems at the short-stay St Nicholas car park.

There would also be major investment in Leamington’s Newbold Comyn, with plans for Kenilworth to be decided.

But funding for the ambitious project is still to be agreed as councillors look to a series of borrowing and grants to make the scheme possible.

An initial £550,000 spend - to largely come from council funds - must be agreed at Wednesday’s meeting before plans can progress to improve and extend the council’s four leisure centres.

Members will also discuss wider funding options and the impact of major borrowing if grants cannot be secured.

Council leader Andrew Mobbs said they hope to secure up to £2 million in grants from Sports England along with funding from developers. But the scheme could still mean “significant” borrowing.

Maintenance costs for the four council sites over the next 30 years is estimated to be around £3 million - a spend which will needed to be addressed even if the proposals are not approved.

The bid is designed to keep ageing buildings in use for another 30 years and address the expected need by a growing population brought on by 19,000 new houses by 2031.