AMBITIOUS plans to build a new multi-million pound sports complex in Spen Valley have been formally approved by councillors.
At their committee meeting last Thursday, Kirklees Cabinet approved plans to build the £14m leisure centre – but it means Spen will be without a public swimming pool for two years.
Proposals to construct the new complex on the site of Spenborough Pool in Liversedge were put forward in January.
It will feature an eight-lane 25-metre pool with seating gallery, a five-lane 20-metre training pool with moveable floor, a fitness suite, two exercise studios, a spin studio, changing facilities and facilities for people with disabilities and/or complex needs.
The council (£13.25m), along with Kirklees Active Leisure (£750,000) is footing the cost of replacing the ageing existing facilities and those lost when Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre was knocked down in 2016.
The new centre is part of Kirklees’ commitment to regeneration and financial investment in North Kirklees, which includes the rejuvenation of Pioneer House in Dewsbury and the Moor Park development in Mirfield.
Council leader Shabir Pandor said: “The new leisure complex is a fantastic and much anticipated development.
“We are delighted that planning permission has been granted for a project which will completely transform Spen Valley’s leisure provision.
“This is a sign of our ambition and a significant investment in high-quality sport and leisure facilities for people of all ages. The new centre will be central to our priority of promoting the health and well-being of residents.” The skate park at the rear of the pool will not be replaced but there are plans to relocate it to nearby Royds Park.
Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin tweeted: “Very excited about this regeneration of our sports centre and pool but don’t forget the skateboarders, whose park disappears with this plan. Let’s move it across the road to Royds Park and support our teens.”
The existing pool will close on August 31 prior to demolition in September. Construction of the new facilities is expected to take around two years from early 2020.
The existing fitness suite, studio and athletics track will remain open during the build.
For more information and to follow the progress of the project, follow the council’s blog at www.spenvalleyleisurecentre.co.uk.