Leisure centre plans paused over rising costs back on track

Plans are back on track to build a new leisure centre in Halifax after they were put on hold due to rising costs.

The delivery of Halifax Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool has moved a step closer following a review of the leisure services offered by Calderdale Council in the town.

In November 2022 the council was forced to pause the development of the facility at North Bridge after rising inflation meant the anticipated cost of delivering the project had become unsustainable.

Working with an architect and a cost consultant, the council has adapted the plans, removing some of the facilities, such as the wellness Suite, steam room and sauna, to make sure it can be delivered using the available project budget.

Cllr Jane Scullion, leader of the council, said: “This is very encouraging news and gives us real grounds for optimism.  We made the very difficult decision in the Autumn to pause the programme because the financial risk to the council was too great.  It’s essential that this project, which is so important to the town, is sustainable.

“Since then, officers have been working hard to rationalise and refine the proposals, reducing costs wherever possible but still making sure that we will have fantastic new leisure facilities which are accessible and affordable.”

The new design for the leisure centre and pool should be finalised by early 2024, with contractors invited to submit cost proposals in the Spring.

The leisure services review also explored the possibility and potential cost of refurbishing Halifax Pool in Skircoat Road.

A survey in January 2023 examined the condition of the building which has continued to deteriorate since it closed in 2021. The council concluded that the extent of the refurbishment required to bring it to modern standards would not be economically viable.

The building will now be demolished, and the site made available for redevelopment.