Council unveils £3m upgrades for St Nics centre

A view of how St Nicholas Park could look at the end of the major upgrades. Pictures from Warwick District Council

A view of how St Nicholas Park could look at the end of the major upgrades. Pictures from Warwick District Council

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The future for St Nicholas Park leisure centre has been unveiled ahead of £3m of upgrades to treble the size of the gym, create new changing areas and extend the site.

But amid the major improvements the sports site is set to lose its “not fit for purpose” splash pool to make way for open plan changing space and a pool side viewing area.

A view of how St Nicholas Park could look at the end of the major upgrades. Pictures from Warwick District Council

A view of how St Nicholas Park could look at the end of the major upgrades. Pictures from Warwick District Council

The ambitious plans are now out for consultation to show users details of the proposals for feedback before a planning application is submitted in March.

The makeover will see the current site to be expanded out into the park with an extension to the front to make space a fitness suite and two sports studios - one of which will be a dedicated spinning room for regular cycling classes.

A new 80-station gym would be created to more than treble the size of the existing site and a new unisex ‘village style’ changing area will be created to serve the swimming pool.

The changing space, which will remain in its pool-side location, will include disabled facilities and an open shower area for men and women. It will also include several cubicle showers and family or school rooms.

The splash pool was part of the design when the pool was built in 1983 and is no longer considered fit for purpose

Warwick District Council

The council-owned sports centre will also benefit from a new open reception area.

A total of £12million was approved by Warwick District Council for major upgrades to its two sports centres in Warwick and Leamington over the next 18 months. More than £3m of the total will be put into St Nicholas Park.

But council officers have said that due to the need to extend the changing area, the children’s pool will be removed.

A spokesperson said: “The splash pool was part of the design when the pool was built in 1983 and is no longer considered fit for purpose.

St Nicholas Park.  08JUL103

St Nicholas Park. 08JUL103

“The space will be better used for new changing facilities that will benefit families, and allow the creation of a viewing gallery for the pool.

“There will still be a toddler pool available at Newbold Comyn for families.”

Extension of the site is limited by the surrounding park but work is expected to start this summer and is due for completion by the end of 2017.

By that time, an external management company will be brought in to run the improved facilities for public use.

Portfolio holder, Cllr Sue Gallagher, said: “The emerging improvement plans will allow our residents to enjoy a high standard of facilities now and in the future.

“Warwick District Council has a great history of investing in leisure and these proposals are further evidence of the importance the council places on sports and fitness and the huge contribution it makes.”

A public consultation and display will be at St Nics from February 5 to February 12.