Councillors agreed to commit more than £900,000 to allow detailed design work to get under way on a new leisure and sports centre for Calderdale.
The centre, which if it gets the final go-ahead will be developed at the existing North Bridge Leisure Centre site at Halifax, will give the borough much-needed modern sports and leisure services, the meeting of the full Calderdale Council heard.
Cabinet agreed to take the project forward earlier in the summer but full council agreement was needed to release £926,000 from the capital budget to enable detailed design work.
This will include a full technical design, all ground, construction and facility surveys being completed, obtaining approval for planning permission and a detailed bill of quantities of materials prepared.
Should members wish to proceed to construction phase, all this work should provide clearer cost certainties, they were told.
Asking councillors to release the cash, Leader of the Council, Coun Tim Swift (Lab, Town) said challenges were faced by Halifax Swimming Pool, for example, and action needed to be taken to ensure no additional spending had to be committed to existing provision.
The new complex will see a new combined swimming pool and leisure building on the site of the existing North Bridge centre, also offering alternative options to encourage people to get active, including a wellness suite and adventure climb, in addition to modern gym, new pool, sports hall and dance studios.
Coun Paul Bellenger (Lib Dem, Greetland and Stainland) said the council should ensure the design as as “green” as possible, for example using solar panels, and he had seen examples of buildings where exercise machines were harnessed to produce energy to put back into the building. Coun Scott Benton (Con, Brighouse) welcomed the news but raised cost issues.
Cabinet member for Regeneration and Resources, Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said the money was being drawn down from the council’s capital programme to allow for a very detailed design which would use environmental aspects of the sort mentioned by Coun Bellenger as a base.
Officers would be challenged to produce a quality building while taking into account issues of cost.
“This is something that is long overdue,” she said.
“We want to see a building worthy of Halifax and the borough.”