The new multi-million pound, dry leisure centre is a step closer to reality after it was granted planning permission, by Conservative-led West Lindsey District Council's Planning Committee.
The centre in Gainsborough Road, Market Rasen, will include Health and fitness facilities, four court indoor sports hall, 3G outdoor pitch, changing facilities and a café.
Work is set to start this Spring, with the new centre expected to open by May 2020. The facility which will have the capacity to cater for 183,000 people annually, is part of the council’s £7.8 million investment to improve the health of people in the area.
Latest figures show worryingly high levels of overweight people across West Lindsey. Meanwhile, hospital admissions for Type 2 diabetes in the district top the county chart – with worrying levels in Market Rasen and Middle Rasen, as well as in Gainsborough South-East, Scampton and Cherry Willingham. There are also 1,100 registered dementia sufferers in the district.
The new facility will compliment the new Health and Wellbeing centre at the West Lindsey Leisure Centre, in Gainsborough and the health and wellbeing outreach service. Cllr Sheila Bibb (Conservative, Gainsborough North), Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee, at the council welcomed the news. She said:
“I am thrilled that the planning application has been approved. Health and wellbeing is a key priority for the council – especially when we discovered that 80 per cent of people in our district, do not currently have ready access to any leisure facilities – or currently do not attend them, which is why the council has pledged to invest in leisure facilities.
“We see how our population is due to grow and that we must look at how we best serve the needs of our people both now and in the future.
“It now means we are able to offer more opportunities for all those who enjoy living in West Lindsey to improve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Last year, residents were consulted on the exciting new plans at an exhibition held in the town, which included a virtual reality video, showcasing what the £6.1 million dry leisure facility would look like.
Cllr Jeff Summers (Conservative, Waddingham & Spital), Leader of West Lindsey District Council said he is very excited about the plans for Market Rasen. He said:
“We have worked very hard and we are putting in considerable investment into health and wellbeing across our district for the benefit of local people.
“We will always endeavour to create equity across your district where ever possible ( ie ) providing an outreach service to rural communities.
“Whilst I appreciatewe cannot at this stage fulfil all the wishes of residents in terms of building a swimming pool, we are future proofing the site to be able to develop the site further should it become financially viable.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the town, which forms the beginning of a new initiative to energise the economy for Market Rasen.”
The news has been welcomed by Market Rasen Town Council who are developing a three year vision for the town centre. Mayor of Market Rasen Town Council, John Matthews, welcomed the news, saying:
“Market Rasen Town Council is fully supportive of the application to develop a leisure centre in the town.
“We have worked closely with West Lindsey District Council, looking at potential sites to support this development and I am pleased that planning permission has been granted.
“This development supports our three year vision, which is more of a strategic plan for the town over the next 10- 15 years.
“We are thrilled with the confidence that West Lindsey District Council has for Market Rasen, investing in the town and making it a destination place.”