9:30am Tuesday 8th May 2012
By Laura Shack
PLANS for a dazzling new £100,000 coffee shop and gymnasium have been revealed for a community run leisure centre.
From mid-July the current gym and bar area at Cricklade Leisure Centre will be completely knocked through and re-built to open up a spacious training room with high-spec digital equipment.
And on the same level, a coffee shop and bar will be created with a viewing window to the swimming pool.
Leisure centre manager Gary Walker said: "It’s going to look stunning and completely different to what we have now. It will look really modern and a lot more inviting to our customers."
Gary said he had wanted to improve the area for years but had struggled to get Wiltshire Council to fund the £100,000 project.
"We’ve had to borrow the money on a low interest loan," he said. "We are hoping it will improve membership and we wanted to give a reward to those who already use us."
Around five years ago the leisure centre was on the brink of closure but thanks to a passionate campaign by residents, the local facility was saved and taken over by local volunteers in 2007.
Since then around £200,000 has been pumped into revamping the centre, including refurbishing pool areas and racket courts and building a seven metre high climbing wall.
Funding has come from grants and donations and also from the centre itself, which is a non-profit organisation that runs self-sufficiently.
The facility is going from strength to strength with around 1,000 adults and children taking swimming lessons each week and top sports clubs training at the site.
"One of our next projects is to raise funds for the roof to be re-done and for a new pool pump," Gary said. "In the long-term, we will need a major capital injection of up to £1million for future projects."
The leisure centre is also set to become a host site for the town’s proposed split campus scheme, which could lead to additional services such as a neighbourhood police point at the site.
Work on the new coffee shop and gym area should take six weeks to complete during which a temporary gym will be set up.
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