Plans for �6m sports centre revamp

AMBITIOUS plans to carry out a �6m refurbishment of Lowestoft's main sports centre have been tabled by council bosses.The major overhaul of the council-run Water Lane Sports Centre is designed to tie in with the proposed multi-million improvement project at the nearby Lowestoft College site, which will include a new sixth- form centre.

AMBITIOUS plans to carry out a �6m refurbishment of Lowestoft's main sports centre have been tabled by council bosses.

The major overhaul of the council-run Water Lane Sports Centre is designed to tie in with the proposed multi-million improvement project at the nearby Lowestoft College site, which will include a new sixth- form centre.

David Gallagher, Waveney District Council's head of services, said: 'It will look like a new sports centre on the same site.'

An upgraded swimming pool and sports hall will be the centrepieces of the refurbished centre, with viewing galleries created on a new second floor.


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Floorspace will increase by 1,500sq m and the plans also reveal a gym, spa facilities and a dance studio, along with a new caf� and meeting rooms to try to encourage wider use of the centre. And the ongoing battle against childhood obesity also features prominently, with plans for a new junior pool and gym, and a children's play area.

However, the redevelopment has sparked some controversy, with squash players protesting against plans to shut down the existing centre's two courts to be replaced by a cr�che.

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Funding for the refurbishment is likely to come from a number of sources, with a bid recently submitted to Sport England for a �1m grant. Some cash for the expansion at the college site is also set to be pumped into the sports centre project, while partnerships with the private sector will be investigated.

Despite the massive investment in the centre, Mr Gallagher insisted its prices would still represent value-for-money to Waveney's taxpayers, with the passport to leisure scheme remaining on offer.

The project could get under way this autumn and is likely to take between a year and 18 months to complete. It will take place in stages to ensure the centre stays open to the public.

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