State-of-the-art replacement planned for ageing leisure centre

An ageing leisure centre site could be turned into a modern sports and wellbeing hub under plans unveiled by Leeds City Council.

The council wants Fearnville Leisure Centre, in Gipton, to be replaced with a new facility. Progress has been made towards identifying funding for the scheme.

The plans would see a new wellbeing centre being built on part of the King George V Playing Fields, a 28-acre green space which is home to the current Fearnville facility.

Indoor amenities would include a large main swimming pool, learner pool, sports hall, fitness studios, spin room and a 120-station gym as well as a community café and adventure play area.

Major improvements would also be made to Fearnville’s outdoor offer, with an all-weather pitch, tennis courts, skatepark and play zone among the proposed features.

An application for planning permission for the wellbeing scheme has been submitted by the council and, if approved, it is hoped work could get under way in the middle of 2024.

The existing centre would remain open while the new facility takes shape on a part of the site that at present is occupied by a disused artificial football pitch.

Once construction is complete, the current building – which dates back to the 1980s – would be demolished.

Most of the funding for the scheme is proposed to be sourced from a mix of external grant support, the council’s capital programme and developer contributions.

Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, public health and active lifestyles, said: “The new centre will be a significant asset for Gipton & Harehills, Killingbeck & Seacroft and the wider east Leeds area, offering increased opportunities for physical activities while also fostering a greater sense of community inclusion and engagement among those who use it.

“We want to create something that is a real source of pride for people across east Leeds and has a positive impact on their health and wellbeing for many, many years to come.

“The council has made two unsuccessful bids to win support for a previous version of the Fearnville scheme from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, so I am pleased we have been able to step in and move forward with the plans.”