In papers published today, Ipswich Borough Council reveals a new Sports Facilities Strategy. If adopted by the Council’s Executive next week, the Strategy is to replace Crown Pools with a new Aquatics Centre on the Portman Road Car Park and to replace the current Gainsborough Sports Centre with a new sports and athletics centre on the current site. Plans for the Whitton area are still under development but the Council remains committed to providing community sports facilities in this part of the borough.
The new Aquatics Centre is destined to have better leisure water (including flumes), a bigger gym, better facilities for fitness classes, soft play and a café. It is expected to be open by 2027 and to have a smaller carbon footprint than Crown Pools.
The new, carbon-neutral, Sports and Athletics Centre at Gainsborough is set to have an 8-court sports hall, bigger gym and fitness suites, new extended provision for the Gymnastics Centre and an 8-lane athletics track as well as grass and artificial pitches, changing rooms etc. It is expected to be open for Easter 2025.
As part of the Strategy, the Council is returning the management of the community use at Northgate Sports Centre back to Suffolk County Council who own the facility. The Council is also planning to utilise the land designated for sports at Ravenswood to develop pitches with a pavilion similar to that which it operates at Ransomes on Sidegate Avenue.
Steps will be taken to make Fore Street Baths more energy efficient and the Council continues to support Fusion in their efforts to bring Broomhill Lido back into operation.
Councillor Bryony Rudkin, the Ipswich Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Sport, says:
“Our sports facilities mostly date from the 1980s and are increasingly challenging and costly to operate as well as a bit old fashioned. This Sports Facilities Strategy demonstrates our commitment to ensuring Ipswich residents have access to high quality community sports and swimming facilities and to meeting our carbon reduction targets”
The report – Item 6. E/22/01 Sports Facilities Strategy 2022-2030 (Pages 21 - 72) can be seen here.