Plans to replace the ageing King Alfred Leisure Centre with a modern new sports facility are moving forward.
Over the next few weeks, residents will have the opportunity to find out how initial ideas to replace the leisure centre are progressing and have their say.
Workshops, drop-in sessions and other engagement opportunities are being organised to reach as many residents as possible.
Investing in sport
Providing a new leisure centre in the west of the city is a key part of the council’s Sports Facilities Investment Plan.
The plan aims to develop good quality, accessible, sustainable facilities and services over the next 10 years and includes developing 3 large leisure hubs in the north, east and west of the city.
The new West Hub facility will provide a more modern, energy efficient building that meets local needs, attracts visitors, and enables the city to host major competitions and events.
The project is at an early stage, and many of the key decisions about the new centre have not yet been taken. However, one of the first decisions to be made will be where the new leisure centre could be built. The council is currently considering three broad options.
- building on the existing King Alfred site
- building on an alternative council-owned site in the west of the city
- acquisition of a privately-owned site in the west of the city, to build the new centre
For all site options, development of some, or all, of the current King Alfred site will fund the delivery of the new facility.
To select a site, the council must complete a site assessment process, and officers are currently in the process of undertaking a review of the current site and others in its ownership
'Expressions of interest'
For the third option, and to help to ensure all potential sites are explored, the council is currently inviting ‘expressions of interest’ from landowners, developers, and their commercial agents to discuss potential locations for the new facility.
Potential sites must be on the western side of Brighton & Hove and big enough to accommodate a sport and leisure centre and parking facilities. It should also be accessible by road, public transport, and active travel.
Opportunities for all
Councillor Martin Osborne, co-chair of the Tourism, Economy, Communities and Culture Committee said: “We are aware of how much the King Alfred Leisure Centre is valued by local people.
"But, as the current boiler issues and emergency closure illustrates, we need to move forward and progress our plans to develop a replacement centre.
“Developing a new West Hub would not only offer new, state of the art leisure facilities, but also improve the health and wellbeing of residents providing a range of sporting opportunities for all.
“Getting views from residents will be a vital part of the planning process to ensure that a replacement leisure facility meets their needs, both now and in the future.
“Therefore, I would urge people to look out for opportunities to get involved and let us know what they think.”