£7m plan for leisure complex and pool submitted in Sheffield

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A full planning application has been submitted for Sheffield’s new £7m leisure centre and swimming pool in the north of the city.

The North Active complex, proposed for a corner of Thorncliffe Recreation Ground in High Green, will include the city’s first new swimming pool in more than two decades.

If approved, the development will feature a six-lane 25m swimming pool, a separate learner pool, a multi-use studio and a fitness suite over two levels.

It will also house several health consulting rooms, treatment rooms and space for other services, such as podiatry, as part of the National Centre for Sport and 
Exercise Medicine (NCSEM), which is a 2012 Olympic Legacy project.

However if the new pool is built, the existing Chapeltown Baths would close. It is understood that staff from the baths would be transferred to the new centre and it is hoped no jobs would be lost.

Sheffield City Council is expected to invest around £2.5m into North Active, alongside partner contributions from the NCSEM, Ecclesfield Parish Council and a potential contribution from Sport England.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, Sheffield City Council’s cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, said: “If approved this plan will provide a modern health and leisure complex in the north of our city, aimed at helping people to become more physically active.  

“The investment will dramatically improve the quality of leisure facilities in the area, which will increase participation levels and therefore improve health.

“At the same time, a new facility will have lower running costs than older facilities offering affordability into the future. We are very grateful to our partners who together are supporting more than half of the build costs. 

“Our partnership with the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine will offer a major opportunity to bring together health services and activity under one roof.

“This concept will also be adopted at Concord Sports Centre and the redeveloped Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre.”

If planning permission is granted in January, work on the leisure complex could begin as soon as February, with a provisional opening date pencilled in for February 2016.

Meanwhile, plans are also in the pipeline to overhaul Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre in the south of the city, also in partnership with the NCSEM. A planning application is expected to be submitted in the coming weeks.

Coun Bowler said: “With the plans also being worked up for Graves and redevelopment work already started at Concord, this is the city’s biggest investment in new leisure facilities for many years.”

The NCSEM money is part of £10m of Olympic Legacy funding being invested into Sheffield to try and enable more people to become active.

Sir Andrew Cash, chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The plans for the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine at North Active are yet another significant step towards changing the culture to make it easier for everyone to be active every day, and shows that we are serious about transforming Sheffield into the most active city in the UK.”