First-look images revealed for proposed Knaresborough Leisure Centre

The first images of the proposed leisure centre to replace Knaresborough Swimming Pool have been revealed.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 12:42 pm
This is how the front of the new Knaresborough Leisure Centre could look.

And there are also new details on exactly where the multi-million pound facility could be built.

Harrogate Borough Council has unveiled the images as part of a latest consultation on the plans which included a 25-metre pool, learner pool, sauna and steam room, fitness studio and cafe to replace the existing 30-year-old swimming pool.

The council has also revealed its preference would be for the new leisure centre to be built over a play area at Fysche Field - and not the field itself.

The plans include a 25-metre pool, learner pool, sauna and steam room, fitness studio and cafe.

A new play area would be provided under the preferred option and building over the field has not been completely ruled out.

This comes after campaigners raised concerns over the loss of green space, with one previously saying it would be "unforgivable" to build over Fysche Field.

Other options included building over the footprint of the existing pool, but these have been discounted as the council said this would result in two years loss of service and income.

Residents are now being urged to have their say on the new images and details as part of the consultation which will run until 24 October.

The new leisure centre could be built by the end of 2023 if plans are approved.

There will also be a public engagement session at Knaresborough Swimming Pool on 6 October between 5pm and 8pm.

Councillor Stanley Lumley, the council's cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, said: "We have ambitious plans to reduce the proportion of the population that are physically inactive but we can't do this without investing in our facilities.

"This multi-million pound investment for Knaresborough will create a 21st century facility that provides fantastic opportunities for local people to move more, live well and feel great.

"Along with our new facility in Ripon and the redevelopment of the Hydro in Harrogate, as well as the district's other great leisure centres and pools, I hope people feel motivated, supported and inspired to stay active."

The latest consultation follows a previous survey on where the new leisure centre should be built within the Knaresborough area.

As well as the existing swimming pool site, other options included the council-owned Knaresborough House, Hay-a-Park, Conyngham Hall and a private plot of land at Halfpenny Lane.

Out of 471 respondents, over 80% were in support of the existing swimming pool site.

However, some residents said the survey was poorly publicised and criticised it as "clandestine, underhand and wholly undemocratic".

The council was also criticised for delays in reopening the existing swimming pool during the Covid pandemic.

The swimming pool reopened in July after more than a year of closures due to lockdowns and a fault with the filtration system which the council said could only be fixed by Spanish manufacturers unable to travel due to Covid restrictions.

The fault was later fixed by a UK-based firm at a cost of £27,000.

A planning application for the proposed leisure centre is expected later in autumn and if approved, the new facility could be built by the end of 2023.

To have your say on the plans go to https://dppukltd.com/Knaresborough

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter