At Wednesday night’s Full Council meeting (12 July), the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Spending Panel agreed to award £2.445 million to Chelmsford City Council towards the redevelopment of Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre on top of already approved developer contributions of £339,000.
The funding will go towards supporting the construction of the new leisure facility which will include a larger 25m x 10 lane swimming pool, along with two further teaching and fun pools and a flume, plus a 120-station gym, health and fitness studios, crèche, café, changing rooms and a modern reception area.
In line with CIL Regulations, strategic CIL funds are to be spent on capital projects and on infrastructure that supports the development of the area. This can include delivering new infrastructure, increasing the capacity of existing infrastructure or repairing failing infrastructure.
Chelmsford City Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Councillor Julia Jeapes, said “This is great news. Chelmsford’s newest leisure centre will be an incredible addition to the ever-improving city centre. The benefits of the redevelopment will positively impact the whole city and people heading into Chelmsford for a day out can now enjoy an abundance of shopping, dining, parks and activities for the whole family. The current leisure centre receives around 800,000 customer visits per annum and it is expected that the new facility will receive at least 140,000 more per annum.”
The CIL funding included £745,000 for Public Realm and Cycle Way Improvements to enhance the riverside including boardwalk and balustrade lighting (to improve security), trees, riverbank works, paving and a cycle shelter and hoops. This will see the Riverside walk transformed from its access at Victoria Road up to the Hub where it links to Bond Street. Further developer contributions of £339,000 have already been made from existing Section 106 funding.
During the course of construction work to build the new leisure centre, the current footpath and cycle route along the riverbank will be shut from Victoria Road to the entrance to the Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre. Temporary access will be facilitated via a path and cycle way alongside Victoria Road and into Waterloo Lane.
Built on the site of the existing Riverside Ice & Leisure Centre, following some initial preparation work on-site, construction of the new facility is planned to start in August 2017. The construction work is due for completion in December 2018 and, following full commissioning, the facilities will be opening in January 2019. Until then, the Riverside leisure facilities will remain substantially open.
For more information and regular updates on the Riverside redevelopment, please visit www.chelmsford.gov.uk/riversidedevelopment
Friday 14 July 2017