Dunstable Leisure Centre is on track to be transformed into a £21.5million state-of-the-art community hub that will provide a new leisure facility, new Library, new Citizen’s Advice and day care for adults with learning disabilities.
After 42-years of service, the Court Drive centre will close on June 4 (9pm) to mark the start of an 18-month period of major redevelopment that will see the centre rebuilt on a scale not seen before during past periods of small refurbishment.
The redevelopment of Dunstable Leisure Centre is a priority in the Council’s Leisure Strategy and the proposals were subject to a three-month public consultation process. The results showed strong support for the plans that include creating a:
• new, modern, state-of-the-art leisure facility with 100 station gym, 4 studios, 25-metre swimming pool and learner pool with new viewing gallery
• brand-new, fully accessible ground floor library, with a new digital offer, flexible space for activities, bespoke children’s zone, and new facilities for teenagers
• new crèche
• new, bigger cafe
• new changing rooms
• new disabled parking and drop-off
• flexible community space for other public and community services, including Citizens Advice, adult day care and meeting rooms.
In preparation, for the closure of Dunstable Leisure Centre, Central Bedfordshire Council has been helping relocate customers to other facilities or to find alternatives. The Council’s leisure centres in Houghton Regis and Tiddenfoot (Leighton Buzzard) have been identified as the primary alternative destinations for Dunstable Leisure Centre customers, with swimming, gym and group exercise available at both locations. The new leisure centre at Flitwick is also another option
At Houghton Regis Leisure Centre, work with their leisure management operator has seen improvements carried out to increase the size of the health and fitness suite and to refurbish its changing rooms.
The Council is also exploring an option to offer space for group fitness, activities and dance classes in its nearby Grove Theatre, while supporting customers who bowl to find suitable alternative clubs.
It is anticipated that Dunstable Leisure Centre will be able to offer all the current programmes of activity and services up to closure day on June 4 (9pm). After this, and in order for works to begin, there will be a minor road layout change outside the site, but this will not affect public access and parking.
Building contractor Wates will first secure the site with decommissioning work taking place on the inside of the building in the first few weeks. Updates will be available as the building works progress at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/DLC. Alternatively, sign up for Dunstable Leisure Centre redevelopment email updates at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/updates.
Jill Dickinson, Assistant Director of Leisure, Libraries and Countryside, said: “Redeveloping Dunstable Leisure Centre is a priority in the Council’s Leisure Strategy. The centre is not fit for purpose and does not offer value for our customers, while the new facility will provide high-quality state-of-the-art leisure facilities alongside a brand new library, right in the middle of town. By bringing services under one roof we can provide longer opening hours for the library and Citizen’s Advice, and offer leisure and library services which support a modern day care offer.
“Due to the scale of the redevelopment the site will need to be shut and we appreciate that this will impact customers. We are ensuring that there are alternative options for our customers to take part in sport and physical activity at other leisure centres, and at The Grove Theatre, and have increased the capacity of the health and fitness facility at the nearby Houghton Regis Leisure Centre. We will continue working to find solutions during the transition between the closure of the current centre and the opening of the new one.
“The current library at Vernon Place will stay open while the redevelopment of the leisure centre takes place and will move across to the new building, once complete.”
More information about the Dunstable Leisure Centre redevelopment proposals, the story so far and information on alternative provision during closure is available at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/DLC.
To see what’s on offer at Houghton Regis Leisure Centre click here or call: 01582 866 141.
Click here to see what’s on offer at Tiddenfoot Leisure Centre or call: 01525 375765.
Image: An artist's impression of the new centre