May 24 2013 Latest news:
Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Councillors will consult with clubs and societies before the next phase of a project to revamp a Norfolk leisure centre begins.
Redenhall with Harleston Town Council last week discussed two separate proposals for the future development of the centre in Wilderness Lane, which arose following a feasibility study into the plans to revamp the centre.
One option is to provide one large room above the gym and the other is to create up to four rooms which could be available for clubs and societies in the town to use.
Eric Bird, the town council chairman, said potential users including clubs and societies would be consulted first before any development took place, adding the council was taking the action because Harleston residents had said there was a need for more community facilities within the town.
He said the project could cost £300,000 and the council was hoping to have the revamp completed by the end of 2014, beginning of 2015.
Possible groups that could be interested in using the revamped leisure facilities, Mr Bird said, could include the Harleston Players drama group or a film club.
He added: “Two plans have been put forward and we will have to opt for one so we are going to have to close the gym for a minimum period of time. It is inevitable that there will be some periods where it will be closed for a short period of time.”
The feasibility study, completed on February 4, looked into, among other things, mezzanine flooring above the gym; a false ceiling, with insulation above it to reduce heat loss; use of space to accommodate productions, functions, conferences, meeting rooms; acoustic screening; installation of windows to provide natural light (upper level); throughway formulated from the upper corridor of the squash courts through to new area and existing social club; accessibility, including platform lift.
The town council agreed in October to spend up to £7,000 on professional advice about improving the leisure centre and making wider use of it as a community centre, after councillors were told that grants were available for community projects carried out by local builders.
Town clerk Margot Harbour told councillors that the company Ingleton Wood had been contracted to undertake the study looking at potential improvements to the leisure centre, and that she and the deputy clerk had met with Andrew Warman and Hamish Cooper to discuss the brief and timescales.