Local people are being invited to take part in a survey to have their say on how they want leisure to look in Felixstowe!
In November 2017, Suffolk Coastal District Council published its Felixstowe Leisure Vision document, which showcases the potential for a multi-million pound sports and leisure development and highlights the opportunity we have to re-vitalise our leisure facilities.
Separately, the District Council has also embarked on a five-year programme to redevelop all its leisure centres. Work has already begun on the Deben Leisure Centre in Woodbridge and preparations are in hand to start redeveloping Leiston in the autumn.
Now, as part of this process, Suffolk Coastal wants to hear what local people want in the Felixstowe area.
“We want to bring state-of-the-art leisure facilities to Felixstowe. This consultation focussed on ‘what’ people want, rather than ‘where’ they should be located,”
said Cllr TJ Haworth-Culf, Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member for Customers, Communities and Leisure.
“No decisions have been made at this stage about where we want to focus the leisure facilities in Felixstowe, although the Felixstowe Leisure Vision document does show the potential from a development point of view.”
“However, at this initial stage before any decisions are made, we need to know what leisure facilities local people would like to see and how they would like to use them.”
The existing Felixstowe Leisure Centre was built in 1985 and Brackenbury Leisure Centre, also in Felixstowe, operated by the Council from the 1990’s. Both facilities are in need of significant money to be spent on them to maintain their current offer.
Therefore, through the Leisure Redevelopment Programme, the Council have the opportunity to consider a range of options to provide Felixstowe with a sustainable state of the art facility that local residents can be proud of and provides a destination focus for tourism opportunities in the town.
An initial consultation has been undertaken with a number of key stakeholders. The consultation investigates where the best place to site a new leisure centre would be, including the existing Felixstowe Leisure Centre site, the Brackenbury site and also new sites in the northern area of the town.
Cllr Haworth-Culf explained:
“The Felixstowe development provides an opportunity to explore all the options to provide an exciting leisure centre that will serve both Felixstowe and be a destination facility within the district,”
“However, this is just the start of a long conversation with local people about what they want and how we can deliver the best leisure centre possible within an affordable budget.”
“I would encourage people to get actively involved in this process and help shape the next generation of leisure facilities in the area. Please take the time to complete this survey, as your views are important to us to help us provide Felixstowe with truly exciting leisure facilities that are fit for the future.”
The consultation was launched on Monday, 19 February 2018, and will run until the end of April 2018. The survey is available on Surveymonkey.
Anyone wanting to provide further comments, such as sports or community organisation with specific requirements or issues to highlight, should email the Leisure Team at: email@example.com
Suffolk Coastal has embarked into a five year programme of redevelopment of the district’s leisure centres. The work is part of the council’s commitment to improve our leisure centre offer and to encourage more people to become more active.
Cllr Haworth-Culf said:
"We’re delighted that we now have plans in place to ensure we have high quality leisure centres across the district that will become places communities can be proud of,”
“When our leisure centres were first built, they gave our communities a great sense of pride and couldn’t have been built without the support and hard work of local groups and residents.”
“However, our leisure centres are now ageing and need updating to today’s and future standards, so that they have the best facilities available and become the destinations of choice for our residents.”
One of Suffolk Coastal’s 10 critical success factors in its Business Plan focuses on the need to provide high-quality, modern leisure centres that the whole community can enjoy, with state-of-the-art equipment, that come at no additional cost to the tax payer.
The work builds on the progress made by the Leisure Strategy formed in 2014, which sets out how improvements to the leisure provision will be made across the district, over the next ten years.
The proposals for Felixstowe are part of a wider Leisure Strategy that was developed in 2014 and sets out how improvements to our leisure provision will be made across the district over the next 10 years. Deben Leisure Centre was the first to be upgraded (due to re-open in the summer of 2018), followed by Leiston Leisure Centre (work starts Autumn 2018).