Monmouthshire’s Cabinet agreed new outline business plans yesterday not only to provide the promised replacement swimming pool but also to completely restyle facilities at Monmouth Leisure Centre.

As a result of the latest plans for the new comprehensive school at Monmouth which is under construction, proposals are to incorporate the sports hall into the footprint of the new school, while providing a new 25 metre pool in the former sports hall within the leisure centre.  This new configuration will give better access to the sports hall for the school during the day while at the same time releasing more areas of the leisure centre for use by the public.  In the evenings the sports hall will be available for public use.  Introducing new facilities such as soft play and more fitness stations will increase the attraction to more members of the public while the addition of a toning suite and spa will help finance this new approach to active leisure services.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Bob Greenland commented: “Active leisure pursuits have changed over recent years and we want to keep attracting individuals and families into the leisure centre.  Facing the prospects of increases in child obesity it is important that children find fun in using the leisure centre through soft play and other exciting activities.

“The cost pressures on the provision of a new school mean we can no longer expect the new pool to be funded as part of that project but I am very pleased that we can consider these new proposals which can be partly funded by better use of the leisure centre and through new facilities such as a toning suite and spa.  Having agreed the proposals we can move towards the final business case which will give us cost certainty of the project.  Once we have more clarity on what can be provided, we will be undertaking further consultation with existing users and other interested parties.  This is an exciting opportunity for residents in and around Monmouth.  A new £47m school plus a new £6.6m leisure complex is a huge commitment from this council and is a lasting investment for future generations.  As a package of measures this represents the most significant public service investment in the town in recent history and shows what can be achieved when we back our priorities to invest in education, promote enterprise and strengthen and sustain frontline local services.”

Local businessman David Blair who runs the No Eighteen sandwich shop in Church Street commented: “As a resident of Monmouth and the parent of a child in a local school, I very much support the rebuilding of the town’s swimming pool.  The pool has been much missed by the community and plans to develop this and also enhance the leisure provision would be a very positive step forward for the community.”