Swimming pool could return to Grantham town centre under multi-million pound leisure plans
The council-run swimming pool could be brought back into Grantham town centre under plans unveiled today (Monday) by South Kesteven District Council.
As part of a multi-million pound project to "revolutionise leisure provision" across the district, the local authority has announced "major improvements" to leisure facilities in Grantham which "could see some aspects, such as the swimming pool, brought back into the town centre".
The council is considering bringing the 'wet' facilities back into the centre but leaving the stadium, pitches and car parking at The Meres Leisure Centre site, in Trent Road.
The plans form part of wider regeneration plans "centered around the town centre", taking in the new cinema complex and cultural quarter, and "linking with High Street businesses".
The council said it wants the leisure centres across South Kesteven to be a hub for health and leisure, providing facilities such as physiotherapy, GP referrals and stop-smoking programmes, as well as housing state-of-the-art facilities tailored to each town.
Councillor Matthew Lee, leader of SKDC, said: "We want to provide first-class leisure centres for our residents, community hubs where families and friends can relax and enjoy a range of activities that bring the benefits of exercise, from physical and mental wellbeing, to achieving goals to help development.
"I want our leisure centres to go beyond gyms and studio classes. As important as these are, I want to provide facilities that become community hubs, with something for everyone, and a focus on overall health well-being. That includes providing activities in our rural communities.
"The current leisure centres in South Kesteven's four market towns have received basic maintenance, but there hasn't been any major investment for decades and little, if any, outreach provision in rural communities. This is something I am determined to change, providing modern facilities for current and future generations that meet the needs of changing communities."
A recently appointed sports development officer, Dominic Fieldhouse, will be delivering a new sports strategy through the council's economic and regeneration company, InvestSK.
Mr Fieldhouse said: "The new facilities will transform the way sport and activity is provided in the district,m offering opportunities for the whole community, They will create high quality environments for people to enjoy which ultimately helps them to become more active and healthier.
"We will engage with the community and organisations who use, or want to use, our leisure centres to ensure that we provide the facilities that our residents value."
The Meres was built in 1960 and was extended in the late 1990s. In 2015, £600,000 was spent on upgrading some areas.
The council said the mechanical and electrical installations are more than 25 years old, and said there is an issue with high levels of humidity. "The general appearance of the facility is dated and does not offer the most efficient use of space," a statement read.
It added: "SKDC wants to make Grantham a leisure destination and a town centre people can be proud of.
"A high quality leisure and events offer in the heart of Grantham could deliver significant economic growth, attracting residents, shoppers and visitors throughout the daytime and into the evening."