Visible signs have appeared which symbolise further progress with exciting plans to refurbish Kidsgrove Sports Centre.

Willmott Dixon has installed its first welfare cabin on site as additional survey work gets underway. The major construction company is beginning more detailed investigations to ascertain the validity of the budgets, totalling £5.6 million, allowed in the initial estimates to redevelop the existing facilities, including a gym and swimming pool, according to specific requirements.

The Council and The Kidsgrove Sports Centre Community Group (CIO) – the community group which will run the centre – agreed that procuring Willmott Dixon’s services through the SCAPE national construction framework, with a view to awarding a contract, is the most sensible and practical route to reopening the building in spring 2021 as planned.

Opportunities for external funding is being explored on behalf of the Council. This latest stage of the project is set to be completed by the end of May.

Council Leader Simon Tagg said: “I’m very pleased to say that our ongoing partnership with Kidsgrove CIO is continuing to go really well and we are making great progress on the plans to reopen Kidsgrove Sports Centre, even in these uncertain times. Detailed survey work is being carried out as we speak which will allow us to secure a greater degree of cost certainty before we commit to awarding the contract, and funding any ongoing subsidy, which is an essential step to safeguard public funds. This route represents the quickest and lowest cost option of re-providing leisure facilities for residents. We have £5.6 million available in our capital budget to make this happen without borrowing – which is a sizeable amount of money – but we have a duty to gain satisfactory assurances that the life expectancy of the building, 25 years, justifies the required level of investment from both an affordability and value for money point of view.”

A confirmed cost will further inform the community group’s full business plan which includes anticipated income and expenditure for the centre’s full operation.

Two recent recruits to the community group’s board have substantial knowledge of setting up and successfully operating leisure trusts. A Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) approved management accountant, who comes with extensive experience, has also joined.

Mark Clews, representing Kidsgrove CIO, added: “We are delighted with the current progress being made with regards to the reopening of Kidsgrove Sports Centre. It cannot be underestimated the value and importance of the centre to our community. Not only will the redevelopment of the centre provide long term health and leisure benefits, it will have a positive impact on the local economy.”



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