Questions raised over site selection for new Halifax leisure centre

Other places were explored to see if they were suitable to build a new leisure centre and swimming pool on in Halifax, says a senior councillor.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 11:45 am
Artist impression of the proposed Halifax Leisure Centre
Artist impression of the proposed Halifax Leisure Centre

This week councillors have green-lighted plans to demolish the existing leisure centre at North Bridge and build the new one, which includes a six-lane swimming pool and a learner pool, on the site.

The multi-million pound proposal has been controversial particularly because of the new main pool’s depth, replacing the now closed swimming pool at Skircoat Road but too shallow for some sports, including synchronised swimming, to use it.

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Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot), Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for Regeneration and Strategy, said a number of options had been looked at.

She was answering a question from Michael Bradley at this month’s Cabinet public question time.

Mr Bradley asked if other sites had been considered.

Coun Scullion said going back to 2015 three feasibility options had been examined – demolish the North Bridge centre and build a new centre on the site, retain North Bridge and refurbish it to include “wet side” activities, and demolish the former Cow Green car park and build a new centre with “wet” and “dry” facilities there.

Sites elsewhere have also been considered in more recent years but not considered viable.

The option chosen was to demolish the existing centre and build the enhanced new centre on the site.

Mr Bradley previously asked at full council question time last November if it was even feasible to dig the pool deeper as the corridor through which Hebble Brook flows is only eight metres below the site.

Halifax Synchronised Swimming Club has urged the council to deepen the swimming pool so sports like that and diving can take place, but the council says it would put up costs and argues it is too late to change the plans to utilise a Government time-limited grant.

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