Council could borrow to fund new Warsop Health Hub

Mansfield Council could borrow as much as £3.5 million to ensure a new health hub in Warsop can come to fruition, new papers have revealed.

By Andrew Topping
Monday, 21st February 2022, 9:45 pm

The new facilities have been earmarked for the parish as part of the authority’s Towns Fund plans, with the council successful in obtaining £12.3m from the Government-led investment.

This is roughly half the £25m total it was hoping to receive and follows a separate, unsuccessful £25m bid for the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.

Part of the Towns Fund bid involved plans for the new Warsop Health Hub, with £3m of the £12.3m total to be invested in the facilities.

Meden Sports Centre closed four years ago.

Latest estimates suggest the project is expected to cost £7.7m – £1.7m more than originally thought – due to ‘rising supply chain, labour and material costs’.

Once complete, the hub would boast a 15-metre swimming pool, changing facilities, a café and reception area, fitness suite and a multi-purpose hall, and would be based within Carr Lane Park.

The council has previously stated the new site is not a direct replacement for the closed Meden Sports Centre.

Now new papers have outlined how the authority is going to fund the remainder of the multi-million-pound project.

Documents confirm the Labour administration is seeking £1m-£1.5m from Sport England, which it would match itself.

A further £2m-£3.5m would be borrowed to fund the shortfall.

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In the reports, David Evans, council head of health and communities, said: “With £3m of the total project cost having been secured to date and a further £1m-£1.5m to be requested from Sport England, consideration has been given as to how the shortfall will be covered.

“This has concluded that further funding totalling £1.5m is available to be allocated from earmarked reserves.

“Furthermore, any resulting shortfall would need to be covered by borrowing.

“It is important to understand a council contribution to the cost of the Warsop Health Hub project is an expectation and requirement of the Sport England funding process.

“The allocation of reserves and approval to borrow is therefore necessary in order to ensure the bid process can commence.

“Failure to do so would be a significant risk to the council’s success in securing Sport England funding.”

Coun Stuart Richardson, council portfolio holder for corporate and finance, is due to take a delegated decision on approving the funding and borrowing capacity next week.

The full business case for the health hub is currently being drafted, with the council expected to complete this work by the end of March.

Meden Sports Centre closed in April 2018 after Mansfield Council withdrew from the management of the centre, due to concerns over the condition of the building.

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