On the day after my article about Oak Park Leisure Centre, and the odd case being made for it’s replacement, Walsall Council felt the need to issue the following press release. I have no idea why.
Like many such Walsall missives, it’s more interesting in respect of what it doesn’t say, that what it does. The wheeling out of Ellie Simmonds name is also rather ironic, as Walsall could never provide the facilities for her to train, so she moved to Swansea instead. I find that kind of illustrative.
Note there’s absolutely no mention of the Leisure trust that the Council is hoping will drive this scheme, and also that sports bodies – seen for some reason as a cash cow – are allegedly to fund the project.
Still can’t see it myself.
Walsall Council PR 8452 31/10/2012 [For Immediate Release]
Update on plan for two new leisure centres
Ambitious plans are being drawn-up to build two state-of-the-art leisure venues in Walsall.
As part of a two-pronged multimillion package, Oak Park leisure centre in Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood is set to be replaced. Plans are also being drawn-up to replace Bloxwich leisure centre in Bloxwich Road.
Councillor Anthony Harris, portfolio holder for leisure and culture in the Walsall Council coalition, said: “In Britain, 2012 has been a landmark year of sporting success the like of which we’ve never seen. Heroes like our very own Ellie Simmonds as well as Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah have blazed a trail.
‘We want to help in our own way to inspire a generation to take up exercise and while we don’t want to jump the gun we think the proposals we have are very exciting.’
Walsall Council leisure bosses have been in funding talks with Sport England, the Football Association and the Amateur Swimming Association and other sports governing bodies for the package.
At Walsall Wood, a new leisure centre would take shape next to the current site which could feature an eight lane 25m pool, six court sports hall, spa, 100 station fitness suite, dance studio and meeting rooms.
The Council’s Planning committee will consider the application on December 13.
At Bloxwich, a new complex could take shape with a six-lane 25m pool, a second smaller pool, four court sports hall, spa, 80 station fitness suite, dance studio and meeting rooms and two squash courts. Development of this site is slightly later however planning permission for Bloxwich will be sought early in the New Year.
If all goes to plan, both centres could be open in 2015.