A NEW water and leisure complex to replace the Aquadrome looks to move a step closer if initial proposals are agreed by councillors at a meeting next week.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s decision-making Cabinet will be asked to approve the range of new services that could be provided and how the new energy-efficient centre will be delivered, at a meeting on Tuesday, February 6.

If the proposals are approved, the formal search for a leisure specialist to design, get planning permission for, build and run the new council-owned centre at Basingstoke Leisure Park will start.

As part of the project, the council is looking to explore whether there are options and opportunities for providing for ice skating services for the future, if needed.

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If approved, the complex is scheduled to open in December 2028.

This investment in a new leisure centre is likely to be one of the largest commitments of this type by a district council this year.

Until the council has the final bids from leisure specialists to create the new complex, the budget earmarked for the project is commercially sensitive to ensure the council gets the best offer and good value for residents.

Proposed provisions at the water and leisure complex, which would move to a new location on the leisure park, include a 25-metre eight-lane competition pool, 20-metre four-lane teaching pool, leisure waters with flumes, a 150-station gym, three studios and a spin studio, an indoor clip and climb, indoor adventure soft play, party rooms and café.

Working with potential leisure providers, other additions to the services that could be considered include extra water space, a sports halls or spa.

Cabinet member for major projects and regeneration Cllr Onnalee Cubitt said: “This represents a big step forward in bringing our aspirations for a brand new Aquadrome to life and is a massive investment in leisure and wellbeing activities that all our residents can enjoy for years to come.

“We have been visiting other newly-built first-class leisure centres. We know what can be achieved, we know what our residents deserve and we are determined to deliver what they have been promised for a long time as a new, modern and energy-efficient facility.

“New facilities would include two new swimming pools, exciting new leisure waters with flumes and a number of new activities based on what residents have told us they would like to see, including an indoor clip and climb and indoor adventure soft play.

“As a Cabinet we are committed to delivering on our residents’ aspirations for the borough and we will continue to explore whether there are opportunities for additional facilities, such as an ice skating facilities, for the future.”

The existing Aquadrome was originally built as a lido in the 1970s, with additional services added over a number of years.

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However, the council has invested in the building to ensure users can continue to benefit from the services until the new water and leisure complex is ready.

Following a public consultation carried out in February 2022, further work has taken place to develop proposals for a mix of services, based on comments received during the consultation and activities identified in the borough’s Leisure and Recreational Needs Assessment.

It is expected that a planning application for the new complex would be submitted in summer 2026 and the complex could open in December 2028.

For more information, visit basingstoke.gov.uk/leisure-park-aquadrome