AMBITIOUS plans for a multi-million pound redevelopment at Deeside Leisure Centre are expected to be rubber stamped tomorrow, but the end could be nigh for three other sports facilities.
Flintshire Council’s executive board is expected to give the go-ahead to spend £2.4million on extensive fitness, health and spa facilities in Deeside.
But members will also vote on a revised version of controversial plans to close leisure centres to the public at Connah’s Quay High School, Castell Alun in Hope and St David High School in Saltney.
The initial proposal, which outlined plans to cut 60 jobs, close the crèche at Flint Pavilion and scrap the Swim Flintshire élite swimmers programme, were met with uproar from members of the public and councillors when they were leaked to the Leader in October.
Under the new proposals a lifeline has been throw to the Swim Flintshire scheme after a £10,000 grant was secured.
An option has also been put forward by a “well known high street” caterer to take over cafe services at Flint which had been earmarked for closure.
But the three school leisure centres are still expected to close to the public.
The crèche at Flint Pavilion is also earmarked for closure by the end of the financial year.
Connah’s Quay councillor Bernie Attridge is furious that bosses are still planning to close the sports centre in his ward.
“It’s a disgrace and an insult to the good people of Connah’s Quay,” he said.
“We are the biggest town in Connah’s Quay and we deserve a sports centre.
“I will fight this to the bitter death.”
The development at Deeside Leisure Centre includes plans for a 500 square metre fitness suite, 12-table toning salon, spin studio, dance studio, new changing rooms and a new facade for the building.
This is the second phase of an ambitious redevelopment project which saw the recent launch of state-of-the art football pitches.
Cllr Dennis Hutchinson, the council’s executive member for public protection and leisure, said: “Within 12 months we hope to open the doors of our extensive health, fitness and spa facilities.
“We recognise that the leisure needs of our community are diverse so we wanted to create a facility that accommodates a wide selection of needs and preferences.”
A new day spa facility within the first floor fitness suite is also proposed, which will include a large heat experience spa, complete with a herb sauna, crystal steam room, salt grotto, foot spas, and an aroma room.
The development forms part of an agreement between Flintshire Council and Alliance Leisure, which will project manage, design, build and fund a number of redevelopments throughout the four-year contract.
Cllr Hutchinson added: “Without the support of Alliance Leisure, the council would not have been able to access the funding needed to undertake anywhere near this level of leisure development.
“In these difficult financial times, when all the talk is of public sector budget cuts, partnering with a private sector company means we can still look to make facility and service improvements for the benefit of the local population.”
The cost to Flintshire Council will comprise of monthly rentals, paid to Alliance Leisure over a 15-year period, to be met from the extra revenue provided by the investment.
If the plans are approved by the executive board tomorrow, construction work is expected to start in the spring and it is hoped the facilities could be open by next September.
See full story in the Leader