Herefordshire leisure facilities are set to undergo a programme of refurbishment to modernise and improve facilities across the county.
Subject to approval of the capital programme by full council in February, Herefordshire Council will be making up to £9 million of capital funding available for investment in its Halo Leisure run leisure facilities across the county.
The investment is part of a programme which has been developed in partnership with Halo Leisure to both modernise and improve the facilities which will enable Halo to support local people to be more physically active resulting in income which will support its long term sustainability during a period in which council subsidies to services are being either reduced or withdrawn.
The funding will be paid for by a borrowing programme with a schedule for repayment through rent by Halo that will mean that council taxpayers will not pay for this investment.
The programme will see major improvement and development works at Hereford Leisure Centre, Leominster Leisure Centre, Ross-on-Wye Swimming Pool, Ledbury Swimming Pool and Hereford Leisure Pool.
Councillor Harry Bramer, cabinet member for major contracts and assets said “We are clear that the council’s priorities are children and young people, keeping vulnerable people safe and boosting the economy. We are having to pull funding away from other areas to meet these, but this proposal shows we can still work with partners in the county to safeguard services such as leisure facilities in the county.
“This gives us an ideal platform to deliver first class leisure facilities for the people of Herefordshire, help deal with the long term maintenance issues affecting the buildings and will help to ensure the financial sustainability of Halo as our long term partner for these services“.
Jon Argent, Chief Executive of Halo Leisure said “We have seen at Hereford Leisure Pool the massive impact investment in the facilities makes in encouraging more people, to get more active, more often; in attracting and keeping members and growing overall participation and income. Customers regularly tell us about the great customer service they receive at Halo, but in some cases it is being delivered in centres that can be described as ‘tired’. These new projects will bring older facilities in-line with modern expectations while delivering value for money for local communities.”
The work on the projects will commence during the Summer of 2014.