Pontefract leisure centre plans expected

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Plans should be submitted for the new £15 million leisure complex in Pontefract in the coming months after legal agreements were expected to be reached by Wakefield Council this week.

The application is expected to be put forward after discussions took place yesterday afternoon between Wakefield Council and the trustees of Pontefract Park, the site of the planned development.

WMDC Clean Up - Craig Heppinstall, Jo Burns, Tom Allan, Alix Gladders, Lynne Marsh, Dan Goodway, Adrian Williams, Harry Bingham & Wayne Leake (Senior Environmental Officer)

WMDC Clean Up - Craig Heppinstall, Jo Burns, Tom Allan, Alix Gladders, Lynne Marsh, Dan Goodway, Adrian Williams, Harry Bingham & Wayne Leake (Senior Environmental Officer)

The Express went to press before the meeting but its purpose was to set out the basic terms and principles on which the ‘leisure hub’ is to be developed and operated.

The council will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the facility once completed, along with all costs thereafter.

A report put before the licensing committee read: “The council wants to build the leisure hub within Pontefract Park, the development agreement is needed between the council and the charity to enable the council to progress.

“It is anticipated that the new leisure hub will be delivered by 2020, and in order to meet that date it is important that a final scheme is developed so that a planning application can be submitted before the end of this financial year.”

The new facility will replace the current Pontefract Pool, and the former Knottingley and Castleford pools, which were closed by the council in January, despite a backlash from the community.

Previously, the council has admitted that the district does not meet the needs, demand or the public expectation for swimming and gym provision.

A previous report put to the council’s cabinet read: “The district needs the new facility in order to support local residents in the Five Towns area to increase their physical activity levels, maintain their health, fitness and weight, and for children in the district to learn to swim.”

The council said the new leisure centre would include a ten-lane swimming pool, gym, exercise studios, cafe and soft play area.

There would also be a ‘clip and climb’ activity, two-court sports halls, meeting rooms for community use and referral rooms for exercise and weight management support. Outside there would be tennis courts, five-a-side 3G pitches and car parking facilities.