‘It will be fantastic’: Warm reception for new £29m Leeds leisure centre plans

Councillors have offered glowing feedback to a scheme that could see an east Leeds leisure centre completely rebuilt.

By David Spearall
Saturday, 2nd July 2022, 12:03 pm
Updated Saturday, 2nd July 2022, 12:11 pm

Impressive CGI images showing how a redeveloped Fearnville Leisure Centre may look were published this week along with outline plans.

The proposal, which is being pushed by the Gipton venue’s council owners, would see the ageing current centre, which was built in 1980, demolished.

New sports facilities, including tennis courts, football pitches and a skate park, would also spring up around the new building.

How a redeveloped Fearnville Leisure Centre may look.

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New images show how rebuilt Fearnville Leisure Centre could look as current site...

The scheme is a long way from reality, however, and its delivery may hinge on Levelling Up funding from the government coming through.

If the council’s second bid for a grant is successful – its first was rejected last year – that would cover £20m of the estimated £28.6m cost of the scheme.

But speaking after viewing the early stage proposals at a planning meeting on Thursday, Labour councillor David Jenkins said: “This is the oldest sports centre in Leeds that’s still existing, so it’s 40 years old.

How a redeveloped Fearnville Leisure Centre may look.

“It’s quite in need of restoration and development into a health and wellbeing centre.

“It will be fantastic for the area and we hope the government will allow it through the Levelling Up process at its second attempt.

“I think, because it will be moved towards Oakwood Lane, it should attract more customers and be more viable as an economic entity. So let’s get it on as quickly as possible.”

Conservative councillor for Pudsey, Trish Smith, added: “I like it a lot. I think it’s needed.

“I hope if the money is forthcoming from government that will make it easier .

“But if not, I hope we can find a way round it and make sure it happens anyway.”

Among the other new features the facility would include would be a park run course around the perimeter of the site, a BMX track, a cycle path and separate play areas for young children and teenagers.

The rebuilt centre would also have an indoor community cafe and swimming facilities.

The planning application will now be developed further and subject to funding being found, will go back to councillors for formal approval at a later stage.

David Spereall , Local Democracy Reporting Service