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£30m leisure centre plans finalised

Thursday, 24 August 2017

£30m leisure centre plans finalised thumbnail A computer-generated image of how the SouthLakes Leisure Centre will look.

PLANS for the new £30m leisure centre in Craigavon have been finalised with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council now in the process of applying for planning permission.

The South Lakes Leisure Centre design plans were officially signed off last week, moving the project a step closer to fruition to its target date of completion in the spring of 2020.

The new amenity will be situated at the site of the existing Watersports Centre, adjacent to the Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre, and will aim to offer a varied range of indoor and outdoor facilities and activities for local people.

The centre will offer a 50m pool, with a moveable floor level, a fun pool, a separate teaching pool, a gym - which the council says will be the largest in Northern Ireland - along with an eight-court sports hall, and studios, including a spin room and dance studio. There will also be an 'open hub' space complete with a café and soft play area, two squash courts and an outdoor watersports adventure centre.

A council spokesperson explained the final changes to design plans had been made in consultation with various groups, organisations and interested parties in order to ensure the building itself would accommodate the changing needs of future generations.

It is a process which has been welcomed by Lord Mayor, Alderman Gareth Wilson, who said: "It's taken time but council wanted, and needed to make sure, that this centre would meet residents' re-quirements for many years to come.

"It's a very ambitious build and represents many months of planning, extensive consultation, revisions and further consultation. Council has carefully considered residents' points of view and has come up with a centre that local people will get something from and enjoy for many years to come."

Work on the new centre is anticipated to start early next year, with Farrans Construction commissioned to build the facility. The first stage of the project will see the temporary relocation of the current Watersports Centre being moved to the old pier beside the Civic Centre.

Access around the lakes for walkers and cyclists will be maintained both during and after the building of the facility. The existing Craigavon Leisure Centre (Brownlow), Cascades (Portadown) and Waves (Lurgan) will continue to remain open until the South Lakes Leisure Centre is completed.

Meanwhile, the application is due to be considered by the planning committee "imminently", with a decision expected later this year, according to the council. For further information log onto www.activeabc.gov.uk

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