Thursday, 14 April 2011

New £30.6m wellbeing centre for Holt Park gets green light




Caption: Artist's impressions of the new Holt Park Active Living Centre (courtesy of Mentor)

The creation of a state-of-the-art new £30.6 million wellbeing centre for Holt Park in Leeds has been given the go-ahead.

The Department of Health contacted Leeds City Council this week to confirm the project to build a new centre which will combine services provided by the council’s adult social care, youth and sports services and the local community, all under one roof, has been given the green light to proceed.

The new wellbeing centre, which will be one of the first of its kind in the UK, is to be funded through credits of £30.676m from the government’s Private Finance Initiative (PFI) with the project overseen by Leeds City Council through the Local Education Partnership and their contractor Interserve Project Services Ltd.

The wellbeing centre – to be named the Holt Park Active Living Centre - will enable people to get support when a health or social care need first arises to prevent a problem escalating. It will also help people with greater needs such as a physical or learning disability or a mental health problem access the personalised services they need confidently and easily, as well as providing state-of-the-art new leisure facilities.

The scheme had received outline approval and planning permission early in 2010, but was then put on hold as a result of the comprehensive spending review. The project has now been formally approved so the new wellbeing centre can be created on Holtdale Approach to replace the current Holt Park Leisure Centre.

The new centre will provide a community hub for the area and will feature:

 hydrotherapy pool
 25-metre swimming pool
 teaching pool
 multi-activity rooms
 meeting areas
 café
 older people’s hub
 learning disabilities hub
 studio
 Bodyline gym
 garden area
 large activity hall
 Changing Places facilities

The facilities mix has been decided following a wide-ranging and ongoing consultation programme with local residents, community groups and NHS Leeds, with a working group being established which will play a key role throughout the development of the centre.

Leeds City Council executive member for adult health and social care Councillor Lucinda Yeadon said:

“We are delighted that the Department of Health has approved the new wellbeing centre for Holt Park. The new centre will provide a much-needed new resource for people of all ages in north-west Leeds to access a whole range of health facilities and services.

“At a time when the council still has some very difficult decisions to make as a result of reductions in funding which are affecting many services, the Holt Park scheme represents a beacon of hope for this part of the city.

“The centre will be a first for Leeds and one of the first centres of its kind in the country, so we can’t wait to get started and build a fantastic new facility which will provide a real focal point for the whole community to use and enjoy.”

The Department of Health funding credits cover the build of the new centre and lifecycle costs for a 25-year period, with the funding only being available for new-build facilities rather than improving any existing buildings.

The next stage of the scheme will see the final details of the project confirmed with work expected to start later this summer and the new centre scheduled to open in summer 2013.

For further information visit wellbeing@leeds.gov.uk or call sport capital investment manager Helen Evans on 0113 224 3184.

Notes to editors:
The Local Education Partnership works to assist in the delivery of education and leisure projects in Leeds. It is made up of Leeds City Council, the national Building Schools for the Future investment programme and private sector companies Interserve Project Services Limited, Barclays Private Equity and Cambridge Education.

For more details on Changing Places facilities nationwide, visit the website at www.changing-places.org

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk