Larkhall Leisure Centre replacement
We are looking to seek your views on shaping the new Larkhall Leisure centre.
You may have participated in the previous consultation exercise as part of the Neighbourhood planning exercise. We now want to engage the community further in decision making and planning for the new centre, building on the previous findings and gathering more detailed views on the project.
Larkhall Leisure Centre (LLC) opened in January 1966 serving the local community of Larkhall and surrounding areas. Over the years, the facility has had additional work carried out, which includes an extension built on at the top end of the centre in 1985 (function hall & studio) and other major refurbishments to areas within the original building in 1996 which included communal changing facilities, a new gym and a floating floor.
Various condition surveys carried out on the existing facilities have identified that significant investment of over £2 million is required to bring it up to current day standards and maintain the structure and services within the building. Within the last year over £200k has been spent on ventilation and boiler replacement. Although some investment would keep the facility functional, the building is considered beyond its useful life and not a suitable to upgrade due to its condition and layout, it also does not address the outdated décor. The facility presents various challenges in terms of accessibility as there are three sets of stairs within the building and although there are lifts available their design and speed are limiting.
The current facility, although now dated has been well used over the years. The sports halls are currently used for football, badminton, basketball, volleyball and athletics, taekwon do, functions, parties, dog shows, dance shows and fitness classes. The swimming pool is used for school and public swimming lessons, baby swimming lessons and aquanatal classes, aquafit, water polo, and by Larkhall Academy for ASN swimming. The pool is also used for Larkhall Avondale Swim Club and swimming galas. The gym and spin fit are well used.
The landscape of physical activity has changed with people seeking out more health and fitness activities in gyms and fitness classes rather than playing more traditional sports.
Council capital funding available
The amount the council can spend on new facilities and other investment is limited by the amount of funding that is available. Over the last few years, the budget available for capital has reduced, and that limits the level of investment that we can undertake.
Over and above projects which are supported by external funding or specific project plans, There are a number of council service areas which require essential ongoing investment, including roads and footpaths, schools, IT development, and necessary repairs to council buildings. In a typical year, these ongoing programmes total £21 million and are wholly funded by the capital funding the council receives – this does not leave any funding unallocated.
The chart below shows the current demands on the funding we get for capital.
If further monies were to be allocated to the Larkhall Leisure Centre project, then this will impact the amount of money we have to spend on these other projects.
The council’s Capital Plans currently include an allocation of £9 million for Larkhall Leisure Centre. This is made up of £6 million of council funding set aside at the end of the financial year 2020/21 and £3 million of funding from the Glasgow City Region City Deal.
The council has invested over £70 million in the school estate in the Larkhall area, these high quality facilities are generally well used for community activities.
You may know about plans to replace Larkhall Leisure Centre through recent articles in the press.
We have been working closely with the council’s architects and engineers to develop options and costs for various types of facilities to put the £9 million allocation for this project into context, for example:
- Swimming pool only with associated changing facilities is estimated at £10 million
- Swimming and fitness gym only with associated changing facilities would be £15 million
- Dryside option comprising a fitness gym and associated changing would be £8 million
- Dryside option comprising the above plus studio spaces would be £9 million
- Like for like replacement would be in the region of £25 million
We have been looking at various locations on the site as detailed in the plan below.
- Option 1: Existing Leisure Centre site - closure and demolition of the existing building to provide a site for replacement Leisure Centre.
- Option 2: Site adjacent to existing Leisure Centre - tandem build on adjacent site allowing for uninterrupted use of the existing facility.
- Option 3: Site adjacent to Larkhall Academy - tandem build on the site adjacent to the existing high school. Allows uninterrupted use of the existing Leisure Centre and potential shared use of school facilities
To meet future climate change and sustainable energy targets, it is essential that this building is planned and designed to be carbon neutral (embodied and operational) through orientation of the building, use of natural resources such as ventilation, light, heat and water, green infrastructure, sourcing materials and equipment, energy efficiency achieved by the latest technology.
We would ask that the community in Larkhall tells us your views in order to prioritise the various elements within the centre.
This survey closed on Friday 18 March 2022.