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3 March 2011, 15:22
Plans for a new leisure centre in Ely, expected to cost between £10 to £15 million, have been approved.
The proposals [artist's impressions - pictured right & below] include an environmentally friendly building containing a 25 metre six lane swimming pool, small children's water area and a six court sports hall.
Other features of the new leisure centre will be indoor cricket areas, spinning rooms, dance and aerobic rooms, a wet health suite with saunas, steam rooms and spa baths.
The new building is intended to replace the ageing Paradise Leisure Centre in Ely, which has recently been described as "no longer fit for purpose".
East Cambridgeshire District Council will now investigate ways to pay for the project, such as lottery grants and cash from developers building houses in Ely.
Councillor Fred Brown, Leader at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: "Gaining approval for the Leisure Centre is a major step forward for our plans to provide the district with a facility that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy.
The new complex is designed to meet the demands of our growing population, provide the best mix of activities possible and will be a great addition to district.
Our challenge now is to secure the funding which will help us to build the facility.
There are many possible sources from post Olympic funding to prudent borrowing - the key to accessing this money was to get planning permission in place.
Now we have this, our aim is to work hard to get the money to turn these plans into a reality.
We know this will not be a walk in the park but it is a challenge we are determined to meet for the benefit of future generations."