Your views are wanted on £15m state-of-the-art leisure centre

Plans for a new �15m leisure centre in Pontefract Park
Plans for a new �15m leisure centre in Pontefract Park

People still have time to share their views on the proposal to build a £15m state-of-the-art, multi-purpose leisure and wellbeing centre in Pontefract Park.

The consultation is seeking views on the plans for the new facility and the proposals to close the outdated leisure centres in Knottingley and Castleford in January 2017, with Pontefract Pool remaining open until around the time the new centre is built.

Members of the public are invited to drop-in at consultation events taking place next week to talk to council officers about the proposals.

The events are happening on:

• Wednesday, October 26, 10am - 12noon, Pontefract Library.

• Wednesday. October 26, 1pm - 4pm, Pontefract Swimming Pool.

• Wednesday. October 26, 9am - 1pm, Knottingley Sports Centre.

• Wednesday, October 26, 2pm – 4pm, Airedale Library.

• Thursday, October 27, 9.30am - 11.30am, Castleford Library.

• Thursday, October 27, 12.30pm - 4.30pm, Castleford Swimming Pool.

Members of the public can also have their say by taking part in the consultation online at that ends on Wednesday, November 9.

Coun Les Shaw, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “I encourage as many people as possible to come along to the drop-in sessions to share their views on the proposals. This is fantastic opportunity for the Five Towns to get the first class facilities they deserve.

“Residents can still tell us what they think through the online consultation on the Council’s website or access copies from any of our leisure centres.”

The plans for the £14.8m complex in Pontefract Park include an eight or 10-lane swimming pool, studio pool with moveable floor, and a splash pad water confidence area. The centre would also offer a gym, exercise studios, a two-court sports hall, a ‘clip and climb’ activity, café and soft play area as well as meeting rooms for community use and referral rooms for exercise and weight management support.

Outside there would be tennis courts, an activity and exercise space, five-a-side 3G (synthetic grass) pitches and car parking.

The three current leisure facilities in the Five Towns are the oldest of all the council’s leisure properties. Knottingley Sports Centre was built in 1969, Castleford Pool in 1983 and Pontefract Pool in 1985.

An independent report into their condition was published in 2014 that said they are beyond the end of their useful life, and are expensive to maintain. It highlighted that they cannot provide the services to meet the current demand, as leisure needs have changed so significantly in the last 30 years.

The consultation ends on Wednesday, November 9.