By Kit Sandeman, Local Democracy Reporter
A new leisure centre could be built in Bingham by Rushcliffe Borough Council near the site of the existing facility.
Initial plans were expected to be approved by the council before more detailed designs are drawn up in the coming months.
It is hoped the new facility will have several upgrades to what’s already available at the current centre.
It would include a five-court sport hall, a six-lane 25m swimming pool with teaching pool and two rows of spectator seating and a 75-station health and fitness area with gym equipment.
Other features could include fitness studios, a meeting room and offices and two sets of changing rooms.
As the scheme is still in the development phase a cost hasn’t yet been confirmed by the council, however the top-end of the estimate is between £20.5m to £21.4m depending on the location, increasing by around £1.9m when inflation is accounted for.
This means the total cost of the scheme could be as much as £23.3m.
This would be funded by a loan from the Government at a relatively-low interest rate paid back over 40 years.
However the council said in the long term, a new leisure centre is likely to save money.
Four sites are currently being considered by Rushcliffe Borough Council, all within a short walk of the Toot Hill School.
All four potential sites are on on the same plot of land which is adjacent to Chapel Lane, north of the railway line.
Rushcliffe Borough Council purchased the site in July 2017.
A council report said: “A condition survey conducted in 2016 estimated that simply to retain a safe and functioning leisure centre – without noticeable improvements – will require works to the value of £1.6m within the next 10 to 15 years, £500,000 of which will be required within five years.
“Even with ongoing investment the existing leisure centre is not likely to achieve the same level of revenue as a new build option.”
Francis Purdue-Horan represents the Bingham West ward for the Conservatives.
He said: “I’m very much in favour of what’s being proposed; it will be quite an asset for the area.
“The existing leisure centre has been there since 1969 so it’s way past its original life expectancy.
“The decades-old question of where to put a community hall could even be solved, and that would be a huge boost.”
George Davidson is an Independent councillor for the Bingham East ward and is also broadly in favour of the proposal.
He said: “It’s definitely worth progressing with.
“One of the problems with the new 1,000 houses in the so-called Bingham North was always going to be how to join it together with the existing town of Bingham.
“Having a community hub on land that’s owned by the council has something got something going for it in terms of being able to bring together the existing town with the new development.”