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£26 million Dover Leisure Centre at Whitfield voted for by district council cabinet

By Sam Lennon

Dover’s new sports centre has been approved by the council cabinet today.

District councillors voted for the building of the £26 million Dover Leisure Centre at a special meeting.

It will go on for approval by the authority's scrunity (policy and approval) committee tomorrow evening.

Artist's impression of the planned new Dover Leisure Centre at Whitfield. Picture: Dover District Council

If all approval is given construction will start on the 2.1 hectare site in Whitfield later this month with a planned opening early in 2019.

The council says that the project is a major investment in the district’s sport and leisure provision.

It is supported by Sport England with a National Lottery award of £1.5 million.

Following competitive tenders the council has awarded a contract to BAM Construct UK Ltd for building work.

An announcement on the tender for the centre’s management will be made in the coming weeks.

Artist's impression of the swimming pool at the new leisure centre. Picture: Dover District Council

The new Dover District Leisure Centre, near Honeywood Parkway, will feature a competition standard eight-lane swimming pool with spectator seating for 250 people.

There will also be a learner pool with movable floor, four court sports hall, squash courts, multi-function room, fitness gym with 120 stations, fitness studios, clip ‘n’ climb wall, and a café.

The plans additionally include two outdoor 3G artificial pitches for five-a-side football and at least 250 parking spaces.

Council officers had granted planning permission for the centre last month.

Retired leader of DDC Paul Watkins

Leader Paul Watkins, today said: “This is a major investment in the health and well-being of the district.

“We are grateful for the support of Sport England in developing these exciting proposals and would like to thank the many stakeholders, local sports clubs and individuals who have contributed ideas.

“We look forward to delivering a 21st century leisure centre fit for the district.”

Charles Johnston, Property Director for Sport England, said: “We’re delighted that we’re able to provide National Lottery funding to help create this superb new centre for the community.

"It will offer visitors a great experience, which is crucial in encouraging people to live more active and healthy lives.”

The project is to replace the original Dover Leisure Centre in Townwall Street, which opened in 1976.

It is now considered too expensive to maintain long term and will be demolished.

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