PLANS to knock down the Newport Centre and build a new leisure centre on a nearby site in the city have “overwhelming support”, the results of a public consultation shows.
In a survey which had 1,022 responses, 94 per cent of people said they wanted to see new leisure facilities in Newport.
The proposals which would see the Newport Centre replaced with a new £90-million college campus for Coleg Gwent are set to take a major step forward after winning the support of residents in a consultation.
A new leisure and wellbeing facility is proposed on a vacant site on Usk Way which would replace facilities at the 36-year-old Newport Centre.
Eighty-five per cent of people also said they supported the reuse of the Newport Centre for a college campus.
“The results of the consultation show overwhelming support for building a new leisure centre, as well as a real desire to have an inclusive facility for the health and wellbeing of the community,” a council report says.
Opinions were split over the two designs put forward for the new leisure centre, with 45 per cent of people favouring a larger swimming pool and 42 per cent preferring a smaller pool with the addition of a multi-functional hall.
A report says the council will look to integrate the two concepts in the final design.
The planned new leisure centre will have improved facilities including an up-to-date swimming pool, fitness suite, health and fitness areas and a cafe.
Meanwhile, the relocation of Coleg Gwent’s Nash Road campus will bring hundreds of students into the city centre.
A new 20,000 square metre campus would include teaching space, science and technology labs, hair, beauty and catering facilities, staff and welfare areas, together with workshop space for a wide range of courses.
Council leader, Cllr Jane Mudd said:
“The benefits associated with these proposals cannot be underestimated”.
“I am delighted with the level of positive response to the consultation and look forward to progressing with this project,” she said.
Newport council’s cabinet will meet next Monday to decide on agreeing to proceed with the design and building of the new leisure centre.
They will also decide on agreeing funding of £19.7-million to deliver the scheme – which includes an application to Welsh Government for £7 million – as well as the disposal of Newport Centre to Coleg Gwent by way of a 250-year development lease.