Newbridge Leisure Centre could get more than £500,000 of improvements
News | Saul Cooke-Black - Local Democracy Reporting Service | Published: 13:16, Friday April 5th, 2019.
Fitness facilities at Newbridge Leisure Centre could be improved with a council investment of £550,000.
Under the plans a studio and two new fitness spaces consisting of a spin studio and functional suite would be created at the leisure centre, while ‘outdated’ equipment would be replaced.
The new facilities would be created by converting ‘underused’ squash courts at the leisure centre.
Building work to carry out the changes is estimated to cost around £350,000, while replacing equipment will cost about £200,000.
The proposals are aimed at attracting new customers who would not normally take part in physical activity through classes.
Membership at the Newbridge centre has declined by 22% over the past three years, resulting in income for this year being £59,000 below the budgeted level.
This is put down to a lack of facilities and investment in equipment, and also an increase in private sector provision of fitness facilities in the area.
Caerphilly County Borough Council bosses say the improvements could boost memberships, which make up 39% of the total income across leisure centres in the borough.
A council report says “a key income stream” is currently being compromised due to a lack of investment and outdated equipment.
“Industry guidelines recommend that fitness equipment is upgraded every three to five years depending upon usage,” the report says.
“This ensures that fitness suites are maximising opportunities that exist in terms of meeting consumer demand, aiding retention and protecting core income streams.
“The majority of existing equipment at Newbridge Leisure Centre was purchased in 2011.
“Along with clearly being outside the scope of industry recommendations for replacement/upgrading, the associated cost of ongoing maintenance is now significant at approximately £8,000 per annum.”
Council funding would include £253,000 from the authority’s corporate asset management fund and £205,000 from a one-off rebate the council received from HMRC for a VAT exemption on the supply of sporting services.
But the proposal could bring savings too, as it is estimated an increase of 600 members could generate an extra £17,000 per month in membership fees.
The plans would also support the council’s vision for sport and active recreation to “get more people more active more often.”
Councillors could approve one-off funding for the project at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, April 10.