New £22.5m Whitwick and Coalville leisure centre edges closer to completion

By Harry Shellard

Plans to create a new Whitwick and Coalville leisure centre began in July 2020 and are getting ever closer to completion.

North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) had said that the old hermitage centre was not up to scratch and they were willing to spend £22 million on its replacement.

The council decided to scrap the Whitwick leisure centre and create a new one closer to the town centre.

The A511 was deemed the best location for the new centre due to its accessibility, and after planning permission was given in late October 2019, construction began this summer.

With most of the external structure being built, the plans are now visibly coming together.

The council wants to turn the area into a parkland leisure destination, with a high ropes course within the woodland, pedestrian and cycle access from the centre to Stephenson College and a trim trail with activity stations.

The new centre is meant to rival some of the best in the country and will have a number of things including: an eight lane 25 metre pool, 120 station gym with 25 spin cycles and three dance studios, 250 car parking spaces, café and a sauna, steam and spa pool.

Council Leader Richard Blunt had spoken to the Leicester Mercury: “Rather than just creating a leisure centre we wanted to put Coalville on the map.

“Bringing a state-of-the-art facility closer to Coalville town centre with good access from the main roads makes sense,” he said.

The area for the site had proven controversial as many people were concerned that the new centre would eat into some of the woodland that the former golf centre and rubbish tip was able to preserve.

However, the NWLDC have said this is not the case.

They released a statement on their website addressing the issues raised. “Where possible, the landscape design aims to retain existing woodland and replace any removed, while enhancing biodiversity and ecological features throughout the scheme.”

The centre was planned to be open in late 2022 but with the rapid development of the site, there are some hopes it could be open by late 2021.

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