Spen pool gets £300k funding for new gym

Spen Pool: Not yet rebuilt, but the council has stumped up cash to open a temporary gym at the site.
Spen Pool: Not yet rebuilt, but the council has stumped up cash to open a temporary gym at the site.

Kirklees Council’s cabinet has approved a proposal to expand fitness facilities at Spenborough Pool.

The expansion will include a new fitness studio and spin studio. There will also be a new female changing room and refurbishment to existing areas. The new facilities will be in a modular building connected to the current building by a covered walkway.

The cost of the project is expected to be between £360,000 and £395,000, and money will come out of existing Kirklees Active Leisure budget and be paid back over four years, when it is expected to be self-financing.

This is added to the £4.6m the council allocated to the rebuilding of the pool two years ago, but Cleckheaton councillor John Lawson (Lib Dem) believes the new money is just a temporary measure.

He said: “As far as I understand, the money will pay for a modular building to be used until the pool is rebuilt. This is because it is generally accepted that when you have a pool it will always lose money, so you need a gym in there to cover losses.”

A date for the rebuilding of the pool has still not been set. The facilities are being built in order to meet the demand from the closure of the Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre – which once rebuilt is expected to include a four court sports halls for community use.

Work on the gym provision is planned to be completed before the current facilities at Whitcliffe close, which is expected to be May 2016.

Coun Peter O’Neill Cabinet Member for Communities and Leisure said: “I welcome the decision to go ahead with the expansion. By providing continuity of service for the people using the facilities, we will help to ensure their ongoing health and wellbeing.“