Bright future for Epping sports and leisure

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The Epping Forest District Council in partnership with Places for People (PfP), has just completed a £1.1 million update to the Current Sports Centre in the heart of the town, with improvements to the gym and brand-new fitness spaces.

Epping Sports Center Opening

Future redevelopment plans

However, further improvements to local sports and leisure including the provision of a new swimming pool will follow any future redevelopment plans of the current council – owned sports centre in Epping.

Users of the centre know it was built many years ago. It is physically limited by the size, age and design of the building (poor accessibility, problems with floor in Sports Hall, ageing Mechanical and Electrical Systems etc.) and it is in a constrained location with minimal car parking.

What is the best solution for a Sports centre of the future to serve better the residents’ needs?

The current site of Epping Sports Centre has been identified by Epping Forest District Council as being more suitable for residential development and has been included in the Local Plan.

Epping Forest District Council has confirmed that Epping Sports Centre isn’t going anywhere in the short term, although it’s future will be under review at some stage.

Investing in Health and Wellbeing

Fitness and good mental health are key components of the Council’s Residents’ Health and Wellbeing Strategy. And although Leisure is a discretionary service, and many councils have been forced to cut back on leisure centre provision, the strong finances of Epping Forest District Council are enabling it to invest strategically in new sports and leisure facilities.

The Council entered a new contract with PfP to manage its sports and leisure centres last year. The £1.1 million improvement to Epping being completed now is part of a 20-year deal including £14.5million improvements to Council’s leisure facilities.  A brand new £10m Leisure Centre is under construction in Waltham Abbey. A £2m extension is currently being built at Loughton Leisure Centre and almost £0.5 has been invested at Ongar Leisure Centre.

No plans to close the facility

No decision has been taken to close Epping Sports Centre but the Council is looking at the options to provide better facilities including a swimming pool locally. The Council is looking to increase participation for people of all ages and abilities. Residents want to protect the Green Belt and a number of potential options including brownfield sites in North Weald are being assessed to ensure that any new facilities are accessible to the maximum number of residents.  The Epping Forest District Council is actively seeking a suitable site in the Epping area.

However, decisions are a long way off and other locations may also emerge.

Consultation will be a key part of the Council’s plans. The Council will be sure to listen to residents very carefully to ensure the best possible outcomes before any decisions are made.

Epping Forest District Council has no plans to close the facility.