What's next for Harborough’s leisure centre - refurbished or knocked down and replaced altogether?

Market Harborough Leisure Centre.Market Harborough Leisure Centre.
Market Harborough Leisure Centre.
That’s the key question Harborough council will be putting to local people over the next few weeks

Do you want Market Harborough’s ageing leisure centre to be refurbished – or knocked down and replaced altogether?

That’s the key question Harborough council will be putting to local people over the next few weeks.

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Councillors are to look at either redesigning the popular but tired sports complex off Northampton Road or building a brand new facility.

Residents will now be urged to tell the authority what they would like to do as part of a public consultation this autumn.

Harborough council said it will “need to consider the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the project and how leisure provision will look going forward”.

The council’s hands might be tied as it has lost a lot of income during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and shelled out vital cash to support the community.

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Cllr Simon Whelband, Harborough District Council’s cabinet lead for Wellbeing, Communities and Housing, said: “We wanted to look at more than one option to give us flexibility on how best to proceed.

“We will soon be asking for people’s views on the options – and they will be crucial in helping us move forward.”

A business case “will now be finalised on how best to move forward on the two options”.

The council said it is also keen to refurbish Lutterworth Sports Centre.

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Since consulting the public in 2017, the council has been investigating how to improve its leisure facilities.

The authority wants to “create accessible, sustainable sport and leisure opportunities across the district which encourage participation, improve health and well-being and enhance quality of life”.

“An extensive amount of work has been undertaken by the council, and its leisure consultant, to review the current environment from the leisure market and local authority perspective,” said the council.

“It is a key requirement for the council that any leisure investment should help get inactive residents taking part in physical activity and that this, in turn, positively impacts on health and wellbeing, as well as providing other social benefits.”