A steam room, sauna and three fitness studios are all set to be added to the district’s most-used sports facility as part of an £8 million revamp.
Bosses from Active Life have launched a bid for the long-awaited expansion of Canterbury’s Kingsmead Leisure Centre.
They are aiming for work on the seven-figure project - which will involve the expansion of the gym and creation of a new cafe and reception - to be completed within 18 months of the plans being approved.
The development will be funded by a capital loan secured by Canterbury City Council, which owns the facility, that will be paid back over three decades by Active Life’s parent company, Fusion Lifestyle.
Council leader Ben Fitter-Harding said: “Our investment will put the centre on a more secure financial basis, reducing the cost to the council of leisure services in the future.”
Kingsmead was originally lined up for a £10.5 million redevelopment that would have included the erection of a sports hall on stilts.
Work began two years ago, but was put on hold following the outbreak of Covid, before the cheaper proposals were unveiled towards the end of last year.
These drawings have now been lodged with the city council’s planning team, which is expected to decide whether to give them the green light in the coming months.
The revitalised leisure centre will have three new fitness studios – with one used for spin classes and another for high-intensity workouts – as well as a health suite consisting of a steam room and sauna.
“We see this as both an investment in a much used and valued building, and a longer-term investment in the health and wellbeing of the community,” Fusion CEO Anthony Cawley added.
“This planned redevelopment programme will ensure the centre offers top-of-the-range services for many years to come.”
Fusion says the building will also be equipped with an upgraded gym that will have a “functional fitness area”, a new café, more changing facilities and greater parking.
The firm stresses the work will be “carefully phased to allow the centre to stay open as much as possible and minimise disruption for all users”.
All Active Life members will be able to use the new facilities.