Guildford Spectrum’s replacement leisure centre would have the ‘wow factor’ but progress is slow

February 14, 2019
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Guildford Borough Council is still exploring the possibility of building a replacement for the Spectrum leisure centre, but progress appears to be slow.

Replacing the 26-year-old leisure centre was first mooted in late 2016 , but more than two years later the council is still consulting and has only produced a “draft vision” for the new facility.

A document to be discussed by the council’s executive advisory board on Thursday (February 14) states: “This initial vision is an attempt to develop a ‘look and feel’ for the venue without setting out the facility mix, which will be driven by customer demand and community need.”

The “vision” for the facility, expected to cost £100 million , describes the need for the new leisure centre to “compliment” Stoke Park, provide “sufficient safe and secure parking” and offer “a wow factor” for customers.

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However, the vision provides very little detail, and the document calls for more research before a full report is presented to the council executive by the end of March 2019.

Council leader Paul Spooner said: “Spectrum is an iconic facility, which is unique within the UK and attracts around 1.7 million visitors each year.

“Our aspiration is to replace the existing leisure centre with something equally exciting and successful that responds to the current and future needs of our communities.

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“Most of the work to date has been to undertake research and analysis where we have looked at the current performance, the existing and likely future demand and how other facilities have been developed.

“After consideration by the EAB, a report will be taken to the executive in March to agree how best to take this project forward to the design stage.”

In its 2018 budget, the council allocated £180,000 to producing a feasibility study on replacing the Spectrum.

The council began to explore the possibility of building a new leisure centre after it proved difficult to find a bidder to replace the Spectrum’s roof.

Costs for replacing the roof are estimated at £12 million, along with £3 million in lost income due to closures, and would take two and a half years to complete, according to the council.

On the other hand, council documents state, building a new facility would allow the Spectrum to remain open, providing a continuous service until the new leisure centre was ready.

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/guildford-spectrums-replacement-leisure-centre-15802633


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