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Millions to be spent on towns Leisure Centre

Thursday, 5th December 2002.

PLANS to spend £3.5 million upgrading Haverhill Leisure Centre over the next two years, and to plough substantial capital funding into other leisure projects in the town, have been unveiled by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

Coun Gerry Kiernan, cabinet member for resources, gave details of extensive spending plans across the borough, including £5.4 million for Bury Leisure Centre, at a briefing on Tuesday morning. They will be put forward for approval as spending priorities at a special council meeting next Wednesday.

At Haverhill Leisure Centre, the council plans to invest £3,549,000 on top of the £325,000 already spent on a successful new fitness suite. Proposals being considered are a new multi-purpose hall, sauna world, a cafe extension, crèche and new exercise hall.

A feasibility study would also be carried out into the possibility of adding a new leisure pool, possibly by moving Haverhill Tennis Club courts elsewhere on the site. The tennis club is bidding for funds to refurbish its courts and open them up for public use and St Edmundsbury would support this scheme.

Talks will start in the new year with schools and the athletic community about providing a new running track, possibly on one of the school sites, where it might be better used. The council is also supporting a funding bid to create a Football Centre of Excellence for the town at Puddlebrook.

Coun Kiernan said low interest rates meant the council was not losing as much by spending some of its reserves, but all schemes would be carefully planned to earn back as much of their cost as possible.

"It is not just about fun," he said. "It is to help the whole community, in terms of health benefits and also giving young people more things to do. Haverhill is growing and we need to be investing in new facilities."

Haverhill Weekly News

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