A new community hub will now be able to move ahead at full speed following successive decisions by the council and recent funding grant success.
The council has been offered a £1.8m capital grant by Sport England to kick-start the Warsop Health Hub project, based at Carr Lane Park, off Carr Lane.
The scheme is one of six projects included in the council’s bid to the Government’s Towns Fund.
Of the £12.3m awarded from the Fund to the district, £3m is allocated to the health hub plan. The council will provide £1.5m from reserves and the £2.8m shortfall will be made from council borrowing to bring the project to fruition, making the final project cost £9.2m.
On February 3, the council was also successful in its bid to create a Changing Place at the hub, and was offered £103,967 of funding. The decision to accept this funding was taken on 17 February by the Head of Health & Communities.
On March 13, the planning committee met again following a site visit the previous week to discuss the application for the hub and gave it full planning permission.
This was followed by an executive decision by Mayor Andy Abrahams on March 14 to confirm the total project costs, the council’s borrowing amount, make Serco Leisure Ltd/More Leisure Community Trust the centre operator and for works to begin on the site in the summer.
Councillor Andy Burgin, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Leisure, said it was brilliant news to see the project begin to take shape.
“We are absolutely thrilled not to have just been successful in our bid for funding to progress our plans at Warsop,” he said.
“I’m pleased to say our work doesn’t stop here in trying to secure further funding to support this project, which may reduce the council’s borrowing level further.
“We are committed to improving health and wellbeing facilities in the area, and with the offer of a grant from Sport England and full planning permission, we can now press ahead with these exciting plans for Warsop.
“Following a consultation with residents in 2020 about what their priorities were and what they wanted to see in the area, we are delivering this new health hub that’s packed with new facilities inside and outside with the new and improved multi-use games area.
“I want to thank the whole team – both at the council and our wider community groups and partners – who put the case together for this successful bid, and I look forward to the project moving to the next stage.”
Once complete in October 2024, the hub will see a new 15x 8 metre swimming pool, splash play area a changing village, a fitness suite, a multi-purpose hall, café viewing and IT area, Multipurpose meeting / Community space and a new and improved multi-use games area created in the parish.
The decision to press ahead with the project aligns with the delivery of three of the council’s corporate priorities: wellbeing, aspiration and place.
Elected Mayor of Mansfield Andy Abrahams added: “With the additional offer of a grant from Sport England, plus confirmation of our additional borrowing, I am thrilled to see our plans for providing improved health hub facilities to support health and wellbeing activities for the residents of Warsop moving ahead with pace.
“This health hub will make a real difference within the immediate and wider community in the district, and I look forward to seeing works begin in the summer now we have full planning permission.”
The plan for the hub follows detailed research commissioned by the council in 2019 into the leisure and community provision in Warsop. This work was supported by Vibrant Warsop, Warsop Parish Council and Active Notts, and community groups, members of the local community, and partner organisations were all asked for their views at consultation events and in a community-wide survey.
Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Executive Director, Place at Sport England, said: “Sport England’s Uniting the Movement strategy aims to provide opportunities for all people to access sport and physical activity, regardless of their backgrounds, bank balance or postcodes. Accessible, flexible and inclusive local facilities that enable people to play sport and get active are vital for our communities to lead happy and healthy lives.
“The Warsop Health Hub is one of the first facilities to use our new Leisure Local concept and the site will work towards the vision set out in our recent ‘Future of Public Leisure’ report. The opportunities to get active that will be made possible by the development of the Hub are exciting to see and will benefit the community for years to come.”
Brian Taylor, Chair of More Leisure Community Trust added: “We are delighted that Mansfield District Council has chosen More Leisure Community Trust and our operating partner, Serco Leisure, to manage this exciting new multi-purpose health and fitness facility.
“Coming out of the pandemic, we have seen huge demand for our other centres in Mansfield, and we fully expect the Warsop Health Hub, once opened, to join Water Meadows Leisure Complex, Rebecca Adlington Leisure Centre and Oak Tree Leisure Centre as one of the go-to destinations for the health and fitness needs of the local community.”