Green light given to £3 million project to expand North Herts Leisure Centre

An aerial view of what the extended North Herts Leisure Centre would look like.

An aerial view of what the extended North Herts Leisure Centre would look like. - Credit: Archant

A £3 million project to expand North Herts Leisure Centre has been given the green light.

The proposed development of the Letchworth centre – which was opened by the Queen more than 30 years ago – will see a learner pool, cafe, terrace and a dance studio being built at the Baldock Road site.

The district council – which will be funding the refurbishment – hopes to take advantage of the increasing number of people using the centre each year by extending the sports hub’s lifespan and improving customer service.

As part of the plans a 15-space separate staff car park will be built to allow more people to use the centre, while the wet changing areas will be refurbished.

The scheme will see the first-floor cafeteria converted into a dance studio, with a cafeteria seating 80 people being built on the ground floor to attract more customers.

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Moving the learner and training pool out of the main pool will provide groups with more opportunity to swim at their own pace.

Councillor Jane Gray, who is responsible for the council’s leisure services, said: “The approval marks a significant milestone in the project to create improved facilities.

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“The work is expected to start by the end of this year and be completed by next summer.”

The refit is expected to increase the lifespan of the leisure centre by 25 years – to build a like-for-like replacement would have cost the authority about £20m.

There has also been a separate application submitted to the district council by Letchworth Garden City Rugby Club to develop its car park.

The club is proposing to build a new access road to the east of clubhouse via the upper car park of the neighbouring leisure centre, with the current access road – used by both the rugby club and Letchworth Eagles football club – being used as an exit road only.

A planning document prepared on the club’s behalf says that the application would improve traffic flow around the area and would allow leisure centre users to share their expanded car park to cope with the upturn in users of the centre.

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