Derry City Council plans major revamp of leisure centres

Derry City Council is planning a major revamp of its leisure provision which could see the creation of a new swimming pool in St Columb’s Park.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of the Council’s development committee on Tuesday in the Guildhall.

The plans include relocating the swimming pool from Lisnagelvin Leisure Centre to a purpose build sports campus in St Columb’s Park, as well as a major redevelopment of Templemore Sports Complex.

However, councillors were told that it could be difficult to find funding for the ambitious plans in the current economic climate.

SDLP councilor Gerard Diver said the current leisure estate needs to be replaced. “The funding is going to be critical and we have to have a clear strategy if we are going to take this forward.

“Our leisure estate is crumbling before our eyes and it is vital that whatever we provide is complimentary to existing services. Master planning for Templemore Sports Complex is important and needs to be done and I would advocate that we work as closely as possible with the local communities on all possible changes,” he said.

Sinn Féin councillor Maeve McLaughlin said more information is needed on funding. “There is no doubt that the leisure estate is crumbling. I would like to see a timescale on how this is going to be progressed. I would also like to see more clarification on the financial package,” she said.

DUP alderman Drew Thompson said the public must be consulted on all plans. “The major concern that I have is that consultation should be a major priority. We need an in-depth consultation on the suggestion that we move the swimming pool from Lisnagelvin Leisure Centre to St Columb’s Park. It is essential that we get funding,” he said.

Councillors were also told that if funding is secured, work would take up seven years to complete.