Putting in place the funding for the District’s leisure centre

This week, Councillors at East Cambridgeshire District Council are hearing about the progress which is being made to make sure the new leisure centre is affordable.

At Corporate Governance & Finance Committee, officers will outline a number of possible funding scenarios for members to decide how the facilities on Downham Road could be paid for.

These options include looking at prudential borrowing, the sale of assets, use of future Community Infrastructure Levy Funds, and grant applications.

It also asks the Councillors to consider the mix of facilities within the new centre, to ensure it can meet the future needs of the residents in East Cambridgeshire. For example, the options include whether the pool should have six lanes or eight, a decision which will have both growth and financial implications.

Cllr Kevin Ellis, Chairman of Corporate Governance & Finance Committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Building a new leisure centre for the district is one of the key priorities for the authority. A modern, purpose built facility which meets the needs of residents both now and in the future has so many positives benefits for us all. By encouraging people to be fit and healthy, we can tackle the causes of poor health which if left unchecked will have a much greater cost to society.

“The challenge for us is to make sure we put in place a package which we can afford. There is no point building a leisure centre if it burdens the tax payer with a high bill for many years to come. However we are also acutely aware of our role in developing the infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing district. These are the issues which we are elected to decide on and I believe we will all work hard to ensure we develop the best solution for East Cambridgeshire.”

The decisions taken at this week’s meeting will then feed into other committees engaged in bringing the leisure centre to reality.

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