Trafford Council has announced plans for “multi-million pound” refurbishment of Altrincham Leisure Centre, almost a year after it scrapped plans to build a brand new facility due to the cost of Covid-19.
The investment – which will also see Sale and Stretford Leisure Centres get an upgrade – will give the delapidated Oakfield Road centre given a long overdue makeover and a raft of new facilities.
Included in the plans – which are subject to consultation – are a 25-metre pool and 20m leisure pool, a 100-station fitness suite that would double the size of the existing gym, two studios and an immersive spin studio, a four-court sports hall, a purpose-built gymnastic and trampoline hub, a combined lobby and pool viewing café, changing facilities, a spa facility and a wellness assessment room.
The investment – which is subject to approval by Trafford Council’s Executive at a meeting on Monday December 13th – is part of its Physical Activity Strategy, ‘Trafford Moving’, and forms part of a borough-wide long term strategy to support the health and wellbeing of local residents.
The refurbishments will be carried out in a phased programme, with Altrincham earmarked as the first to be refurbished.
The work would also look to replace the fossil fuel (gas) heating system with much more sustainable air-sourced heat pumps and solar panels, supporting Trafford Council’s plan to be carbon-neutral by 2038.
Trafford had in October 2018 approved a new £22million centre for the site.
But in January this year, the spiralling cost of Covid-19 and increasing cost pressures on the health and social care system saw its executive abandon the proposals and opt instead for a refurbishment.
Cllr Liz Patel, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “We are excited to announce this next stage of our leisure centre investment plans. Over the past two years we have all had time to think about our health.
“The benefits of being active for our bodies and minds are huge. However, I have met many people who are not physically active, they lack confidence, feel self-conscious, have a long term health condition or are just so busy with family and work they feel they don’t have time to make physical activity a priority.
“A key commitment of this Council administration is to improve our much-loved centres, bringing them up to a modern, attractive standard. We have made a great start with Move Urmston and are proud to be setting out the next steps in the refurbishment of Altrincham, Sale and Stretford.”
Jo Cherrett, CEO of Trafford Leisure, which manages the facilities on behalf of Trafford Council and uses any profits and assets for community benefit, added: “We couldn’t be happier to share the proposals with the people of Trafford and are excited about how these redevelopments will completely transform the facilities we run, future proofing them for generations to come.
“This isn’t just a lick of paint; the plans are extensive and will ensure our spaces are safe, welcoming and inclusive to all. Move Urmston really helps showcase what can be achieved from a refurbishment. We have learnt a lot from the recent and successful redevelopment of move Urmston and are looking forward to supporting Trafford Council in making ‘move Altrincham’, ‘move Sale’ and ‘move Stretford’ a reality.”
The consultation process for Altrincham Leisure Centre will launch next month, with anyone able to have their say on the draft designs, which will be available to view at Altrincham Leisure Centre, Altrinc
Cherrett added: “Feedback from previous consultations on the future of Altrincham Leisure Centre will be incorporated into our findings, but we really urge the community to once again share their voice on the council’s proposals so we can move to the next stage swiftly and effectively.”