A NEW £26m sports centre for Huddersfield forms part of a massive package of redevelopment and investment unveiled today.
Tesco and Kirklees Council are in talks over a deal which would see the retail giant move on to the existing Sports Centre site with a superstore.
And the deal would fund a new Sports Centre on current car parking land at Springwood.
Plans for the Old Leeds Road area behind the current centre and other sites on the edge of the town centre emerged today.
The existing Tesco site in Viaduct Street will be redeveloped.
And two of the three tower blocks of flats in Leeds Road, Ibbotson and Lonsbrough, would be demolished as part of the plan.
The council’s Cabinet took the first steps yesterday towards a major regeneration programme as part of the longer term opportunities for the town centre and the Leeds Road corridor.
The new sports centre, planned to be open in 2011, would be funded by a combination of cash from the sale of the existing site, using council funds that would otherwise have to be spent on repairs to the sports centre and other buildings running into millions of pounds, and other council capital budgets.
Council leader Clr Robert Light said today: “With complex development proposals there is a significant element of commercial confidentiality until they are finalised.
“We can now confirm that these proposals focus on working together with Tesco to deliver a phased package of development. This would involve Tesco relocating to the existing sports centre site; re-development of its existing store site for apartments and flats, hotel, offices, shops and car parking; the building of a new and modern sports centre; and relocating the council’s computer service.
“The council will be consulting on the options for re-housing tenants from Ibbotson and Lonsbrough Flats and on making replacement arrangements for Southgate Family Centre before a final decision is made.
“The preferred site for the new sports centre is the Spring Grove pay and display car park near to the fire station at Springwood.
“This is subject to current consultation on the possible relocation of the Swallow Court day care facility. The alternative site is the St Andrew’s Road pay and display car park.
“The issue of replacement car parking will be carefully considered and addressed. There are a number of options, including providing decked car parking. If the Spring Grove car park is the final choice there will be full discussions with residents in the area on its implications.
“There will be extensive consultations with sports centre user groups and the public as to what facilities they would like to see in the new sports centre.”
The council have pledged to include top quality facilities for sport. These include:
Swimming pools including a 25-metre eight-lane pool, a teaching pool with a movable floor and a small family fun pool.
A large sports hall with spectator seating and a second, smaller sports hall.
A climbing wall, two squash courts and a martial arts room.
A large hall suitable for indoor bowling in winter, with changing rooms
A 150-station fitness suite and a dance studio, with changing room facilities
There will also be a reception area, a cafe, a children’s area and a multi-purpose room.
Car parking will include a drop-off zone and dedicated disabled person’s parking spaces.
Clr Light said: “This latest package of proposals is another sign of the attractiveness of Huddersfield and Kirklees for investment, jobs and commercial development as part of the council’s wider regeneration ambitions and programmes.
“Planning applications and approvals will be needed for all three elements of the package.
“Clearly, it is still early days, but our aspiration is for the sports centre to be up and running in 2011.
“The new and larger Tesco store would open in the following year. The redevelopment of the existing store site could be completed by 2014 and include more than 200 parking spaces in addition to the replacement parking that would come with the sports centre development.
“This particular regeneration package is one of many that form part of the wider ambitions for regeneration in Huddersfield and Kirklees. It provides the council with an opportunity to have a massive cash injection into providing a new sports centre, which has been badly needed for many years in Huddersfield.
“We will be able to relocate council services to buildings that are more ‘fit for purpose’, provide new housing, offices, shops and other council services, such as facilities for children and families in new centres across the district.
“The overall package will revitalise sports and leisure facilities in the town, further develop commercial, and shopping needs, together with maintaining, and looking to increase, overall car parking levels.”