Plans approved for new £14m Kirkby leisure centre and swimming pool

Plans for a new leisure centre and swimming pool in Kirkby have been formally approved today.

Ashfield District Council unveiled plans last week alongside triple Paralympic swimming gold medallist Ollie Hynd, from Kirkby, to replace Festival Hall leisure centre with a new £14 million centre on a parcel of land described as a “disused eyesore” behind it.

Councillor Tom Hollis, Ollie Hynd and Councillor Jason Zadrozny.

Councillor Tom Hollis, Ollie Hynd and Councillor Jason Zadrozny.

They have now been formally approved at a cabinet meeting today, Monday, January 21.

Festival Hall – which was first built in the 1930s is now said to be “limited” and expensive to maintain – will remain open while the new centre is built, but would then be demolished and replaced with car parking, when it is due to open in 2021.

The land were the new centre will be built was purchased by Kirkby Urban District Council – the forerunner to Ashfield council – back in the 1930s in the hopes of building a pool, but has stood empty ever since.

Built on that land will include the swimming pool which Kirkby residents have been promised for the last 100-years.

There will be a 25m swimming pool with adjustable floor, a leisure pool, climbing wall, sports hall and gym.

The plans also include a multi-purpose sports hall the size of four badminton courts, containing a cinema screen, as well as a café, cycling studio and a rehabilitation suite.

The D2N2 local enterprise partnership has pledged £1.5 million toward the scheme, with council bosses confident of securing at least another £1m from another source.

Read more on the plans here