New leisure centre for Rugby approved and new name revealed

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PLANS for a new leisure centre have been unanimously approved by a special meeting of Rugby Borough Council.

The new leisure centre, costing in the region of £12.5m, will now be built on the existing car park for the Ken Marriott Leisure Centre, which will be demolished when the new centre opens.

The new centre will be called the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Centre after a surprise announcement at the meeting. It will include a fitness suite, a 25m, 8 lane swimming pool, and a 17m x 8m state-of-the-art studio pool with moveable floor.

Also included are a sports hall, feature climbing wall, spaces suitable for dance classes, martial arts, children’s parties and crèche, and a coffee shop, open to non-centre users.

An option provide a larger sports hall was also approved, but further options to include squash courts were turned down as they did not demonstrate value for money. The design and options have been scrutinised by a cross-party task group to ensure the scheme has a clear business case for all of the proposals.

Once built, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Centre will be one of the best-equipped leisure centres for disability sport in the UK. Facilities for the disabled will include special disabled toilets and hoists, level access throughout, and a ‘Changing Places’ room - a room equipped with facilities for changing adults with severe learning or physical disabilities.

Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for development and culture, said: “We have an opportunity to build a new facility that will meet the needs and aspirations of our residents for a generation.

“The flexibility that the new centre will give us, such as the movable floor in the studio pool, will mean that it will be suitable for a greater variety of activities and for a larger cross-section of our communities.”

David Foster, Chairman of the Rugby Disability Forum, said: “The disability aspects of the new leisure centre are marvellous: I have to thank Rugby Borough Council for their concern for disabled people.

“The council has included these facilities because they want to and because they feel they ought to, and that is absolutely wonderful.”

Construction will start later this month, and will be completed in summer 2013.

Residents can find out more on the progress of the new leisure centre at www.rugby.gov.uk/newleisurecentre.