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New leisure centre in Houghton Regis

Central Beds  have unveiled plans for a £25million community and leisure centre in Houghton Regis which is funded with £20million of government funding plus council investment.

To ensure it meets the needs of current and future residents, we want to know what you think.

A consultation is now open, and you can give your feedback until Wednesday, 16th February 2022.

Please look through the detailed information at: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations and provide your views and comments on the online feedback form.

You can also make suggestions for a name for the new facility.

Consultation events

A consultation and engagement event will take place on:

  • Saturday 29th January between 11 am and 4 pm in Bedford Square concourse close to the community library

The event will allow you to meet members of the project team, look at the plans, ask questions and provide feedback.

Given the ongoing pandemic, the event will be in the concourse to enable better ventilation and will observe the latest COVID-19 guidance. If you plan to visit please take a lateral flow test beforehand and kindly don’t attend if you have any symptoms. Face masks should be worn and social distancing arrangements will be observed where possible.

Two live online webinars are also planned where you can hear from the project team and ask questions from the comfort of your home. These will take place on:

  • Thursday, 27th January from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm
  • Monday, 31st January from 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm

Further information on how to register for these webinars is available at: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations

Summary of the plans

The two-storey community and leisure hub will offer a fabulous swimming experience. A 25 metre eight-lane main pool is more than double the size of the existing Houghton Regis Leisure Centre pool. A learner pool will have a movable floor to raise or lower the depth for swimming lessons, there is a separate shallow pool, known as confidence water, and a changing village.

A substantial fitness suite, a spinning bikes studio and multi-use exercise studios will provide dedicated spaces for workouts and classes. Two squash courts add to the modern sports provision.

Arrangements with the new Houstone School will see its sports facilities also available for residents to use. This includes a new sports hall for indoor sports.

Proposals include a spacious foyer and reception area, a cafe, community space, a creche and Changing Places facilities for severely disabled visitors.

The outdoor plans contain a children’s play area and a fitness and running trail. Quality landscaping and considerable planting will create lovely public spaces and enhance biodiversity.

A large 238 space car park will include electric vehicle charging points, motorcycle parking, accessible parking bays and cycle parking. Improved walking and cycling routes will connect the development to other parts of the Kingsland Campus and the local community.

Other information

Close to £20 million of Levelling Up funding from the government is supporting the proposed £25 million community and leisure centre.

Subject to planning approval, the construction of the new community and leisure centre will start later in 2022 once Houghton Regis Academy, the proposed site, is closed at the end of the summer school term. The new Houstone school is due to open in autumn 2022.

The leisure and community building will open in 2024 to meet the timeframes and funding criteria set by the government.

The new facility will replace the old Houghton Regis Leisure Centre. However, to ensure continuous leisure provision is available for residents, the existing centre will stay open until the new centre is complete. At this point, residents will benefit from the modern sports and community facilities at the new centre and also at Houstone School.

Your views will help us

Please take a few minutes to let us know what you think:

www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations

Paper copies of the consultation summary document and questionnaire can be requested by emailing consultations@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or calling 0300 300 8301.

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