Plans for the new Halifax Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool have moved a step closer following a review of the leisure services offered by the Council in the town.
In November 2022 the Council was forced to pause the development of the new Leisure Centre at North Bridge after rising inflation meant the anticipated cost of delivering the project had become unsustainable.
The review which followed covered the options available to the Council for providing leisure services in Halifax in the future. It examined the cost of the new Leisure Centre and Pool scheme and whether, as an alternative, it would be possible to reopen the former Halifax Pool building in Skircoat Road.
Working with an Architect and a Cost Consultant, the Council has adapted, simplified and tested the plans for the scheme, removing some of the facilities, such as the Wellness Suite, steam room and sauna, to make sure it can be delivered using the available project budget.
Cllr Jane Scullion, Leader of the Council said: “This is very encouraging news and gives us real grounds for optimism. We made the very difficult decision in the Autumn to pause the programme because the financial risk to the Council was too great. It’s essential that this project, which is so important to the town, is sustainable.
“Since then, Officers have been working hard to rationalise and refine the proposals, reducing costs wherever possible but still making sure that we will have fantastic new leisure facilities which are accessible and affordable.”
The team has already reduced the total project costs by an estimated 6-10%, bringing it close to the approved budget for the scheme. Work will continue to identify further cost savings as the plans are developed.
The new design for the leisure centre and pool should be finalised by early 2024, with contractors invited to submit cost proposals in the Spring.
The leisure services review also explored the possibility and potential cost of refurbishing Halifax Pool in Skircoat Road.
A survey in January 2023 examined the condition of the building which has continued to deteriorate since it closed in 2021.
There is significant evidence that the concrete has failed and there is corrosion of the steelwork within the structure of the building; the roof is unsafe, and it is likely that the cladding system on the external walls has also failed.
The pool tank requires significant repairs and many of the doors and windows would need to be replaced.
The pool opened in 1966 and it’s clear from the survey that large parts of the building’s structure are now no longer safe and that the extent of the refurbishment required to bring it to modern standards would not be economically viable.
The building will now be demolished, and the site made available for redevelopment.
Calderdale Council was awarded £12.2 million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to support the development of the new leisure centre and swimming pool.
To find out more about Halifax Leisure Centre and Pool and other exciting developments across Calderdale visit www.calderdalenextchapter.co.uk
For more information about Active Calderdale visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/active-calderdale