Cumbria Crack

Carlisle Sands Centre £25 million improvement scheme approved

A £25 million Sands Centre redevelopment scheme has been given the go-ahead by Carlisle City Council.

A special meeting of the City Council, held on Tuesday 25 June, gave approval for a major redevelopment of the leisure facility that will include pools provision as well as significant improvements to the existing site.

The improved facilities will include a range of sustainable features which will support the Council’s plans for reducing carbon emissions, improving energy efficiency and providing sustainable, healthy transport options.

The Sands Centre improvements will include:

  • Main pool hall (25m x 17m, 8 lane) & learner pool with a moveable floor (20m x 8m) and a spectator seating gallery.
  • Four court sports hall with a spectator gallery.
  • 120 station fitness suite.
  • Two dance studios.
  • Spinning studio.
  • Changing facilities.
  • Changing Places facility.
  • Dementia friendly design.
  • NHS Physiotherapy suite.
  • First Aid.
  • Reception desk with offices.

Environmental measures to support more efficient use of energy and photovoltaic panels and combined heat and power energy generation.

Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr John Mallinson, said: “The Sands Centre redevelopment is a major project that will provide significant benefits. It represents a cornerstone in our plans to support our communities to continue to improve their health and wellbeing.

“There is a necessity to do the work. Carlisle desperately needs new swimming facilities. The Pools are out of date and the costs of doing nothing would be significant. It would cost more for the council to do nothing as we’d still need to invest in the current facilities to keep them functioning as they are. This is a one-off opportunity with a dual benefit of all the facilities being on one site.”

The transformational plans for extending and redeveloping the facilities in the city are accompanied by a range of new and developing partnership arrangements with GLL (leisure operator), Sport England, NHS providers, Active Cumbria, Cumbria County Council Public Health Team, sports clubs, community groups and other funders. The proposals for this new flagship facility will support a broad range of new programmes and opportunities for physical activity and mental health development.

The new extension will significantly improve the access opportunities for all our communities to use and enjoy the facilities and services. Access to the building will be significantly improved from all points as will the internal layout.

The development of the project has used an inclusive design approach to ensure equal access and wellbeing. This will assist users with physical and other conditions such as dementia to make full use of the site and surroundings.

The project will also consolidate the existing arrangements with the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust Musculoskeletal (MSK) team. The MSK team already provide treatment services at The Sands Centre. The MSK team already provide treatment services at The Sands Centre but will be able to expand their services and develop new joint/collective treatment and rehabilitation activities with GLL and other partners.

Following the Council’s approval, construction on The Sands Centre redevelopment will start later this year and is scheduled to be completed by summer 2021. The existing Pools provision on James Street will remain in place until all construction at The Sands Centre has been completed.

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