New Leisure Centre FAQs
IMPORTANT: Due to the current circumstances, this project is on hold until further notice
Why do we need a new leisure centre in Deal?
Built in 1987, the Tides Leisure Centre now needs major investment to provide facilities to meet today’s customer expectations, and to address concerns regarding an ageing and tired building with deteriorating pool plant & equipment. In July 2019, councillors approved £700,000 to undertake urgent plant refurbishments so that the leisure centre can continue to function while long term options are considered.
What has been done so far?
We have asked a team of consultants to review the long term feasibility of Tides. Their reports have concluded that major investment in a new build facility would be more cost effective than refurbishing the existing centre.
Does the new Dover District Leisure Centre offer enough sports provision for the district?
Consultants have advised that we still need to improve the provision of lane swimming in our district so it makes sense to include a lane swimming pool in Deal, alongside a learner pool and splash pool/aqua play. By doing this, we will be delivering a more comprehensive sports offer to the local community and it is more likely to attract Sport England funding.
Did you consider other locations for a new build leisure centre?
Twelve potential sites were reviewed against a range of criteria. The results of this investigation strongly supported the proposal of keeping the centre at its existing site. By developing it in the existing location, the four-court sports hall and indoor tennis centre can be retained.
What will happen to the indoor tennis centre and sports hall?
The tennis centre and sports hall were built much later (opening in 2005 and 2011 respectively) and are both in a good condition and will remain as integral parts of the new leisure centre.
Will the Tides centre have to close while the work is being done?
The swimming pool will have to close while the new build work is completed, but we intend to maintain as many dry-side facilities as possible. Alternative options are being explored, such as temporarily accommodating the gym in the sports hall or Indoor Tennis Centre, while the new build work is carried out.
What about facilities for young people?
Alongside a new 6-lane main pool there are proposals for a new 12m x 8m learner pool with a 100% moveable floor so that the depth can be changed plus a 625m² area splash pool with aquaplay and flumes. The centre is located next to Dover District Council's skate park and Kent County Council's Youth Hub.
Can you build a 50m (Olympic size) pool?
The feasibility study identifies the need/demand for a 25m pool for lane swimming and that will, therefore, be the focus.
How much will it cost to build?
Based on the current mix of facilities, the project is costing in the region of £25.8m. We are currently looking at funding options.
Will Council Tax be going up to pay for it?
The project will be paid for through a combination of Council reserves and borrowing. We are working with Sport England to see if they may be able to make a financial contribution to the project.
How will you borrow money?
The council can access a range of borrowing at very competitive rates through the Public Works Loan Board.
When will the new centre be built?
We are still in the very early stages of developing proposals for a new leisure centre in Deal. These proposals will be subject to a rigorous feasibility and affordability test. It is intended that a decision will be made by Cabinet in July 2020 and If the project goes ahead, we would look to start the building work in the final quarter of 2021 with a target completion date of early spring 2023.
Who will run the new leisure centre?
Your Leisure are the managing operators of Tides Leisure Centre. Options for future management of the proposed new build facility are currently being explored.
Will the parking be free?
It is intended that there will be free parking for a minimum of 250 vehicles, including disabled spaces and drop-off facilities.
Will the new centre be accessible for users with disabilities?
Yes. We’re designing access for all. The swimming pool, changing rooms and toilets will all be accessible. There will be lifts between the two floors and parking for blue badge holders.
Will the residents and local businesses be kept informed of the project?
Yes, we will work with the local community and keep everybody up-to-date with project news. We intend to consult in May to help shape the range of facilities on offer. You can sign up to the council’s Keep me Posted online news bulletin. Project newsletters will also be produced and distributed, the council’s social media channels will provide regular updates and the sports centre itself will have an information board.