Council leisure facilities set for vital revamp

July 23, 2007 12:00 AM

Rochdale Council are to invest £31 million into Rochdale's leisure facilities. The money will be put towards a range of projects including funding for the Middleton Arena, the upcoming Heywood Sport, Culture and Leisure Village and major redevelopments to the Central Leisure facilities.

The Council's Cabinet welcomed the opportunity to improve and renew the Council's main leisure facilities. William Hobhouse, Cabinet member for finance, said: "This is an important political decision, it was amongst our top priorities when the Liberal Democrats came to power in the council to improve leisure facilities and now we have a chance to achieve that."

The Middleton arena hopes to open its doors in November 2008. Tesco will give £13 million to fund the capital costs of the project whilst the Council will provide £0.42 million for equipment for the sports hall, swimming pool, fitness facilities, stage and lighting.

Work on the Heywood Sport, Culture and Leisure Village aims to be completed by April 2009. £6 million may be available in funding so the Council would have to provide a further £2 million to the £8 million project.

At current standards it is expected that the seventy year old Central Leisure building on Entwhisle Road will only survive for a few more years. The Council hopes to replace the building at a cost of £8 million, which would include the addition of a four court sports hall. It is hoped that work will be complete by April 2011.

The council report detailing the expenditure on leisure facilities states: "This report presents an exciting opportunity for the Council to improve and replace its major Leisure facilities across the Borough. The vast majority of the investment required by the Council can be funded from within savings and efficiencies made by Link4Life. In order to complete the entire investment programme funding of £4.51 million will have to be identified within future years capital programmes."