Chepstow and Abergavenny leisure centre upgrades to go ahead

Thursday, July 22nd, 2021 10:13pm

By Emily Gill - Local Democracy Reporter

Monmouthshire council has given the green light to refurbish both Chepstow and Abergavenny leisure centres.

£2.2 million will be invested into the leisure centres, with £1.7 million going to Abergavenny and £500,000 to Chepstow.

The Abergavenny refurbishment is set to take place later this year.

It will see the top floor fitness hub refurbished to include a fitness suite, spin studio, fitness studio, changing rooms and a viewing area to the ground floor pool.

The full proposal is to upgrade the whole leisure centre, but this cannot take place until the new school, which will be on the site of King Henry VIII School, is complete in 2024.

The second phase of the project, which will take place after the new school building has been completed, would see the sports hall, ground floor reception area and entrance all repurposed.

However, Cllr Martyn Groucutt said there was some concern from residents that part of the leisure centre would be closed for 20 weeks due to the refurbishment later this year and he called for minimal disruption.

Cllr Jane Pratt said she is an Abergavenny Leisure Centre user and the upgrade is “badly needed”.

In a previous meeting, Cllr Maureen Powell said she had been using the leisure centre in Abergavenny since 1978 and said “it is a wonderful thing to see it might be improved in some way”.

The changes at Chepstow leisure centre will be “minor” because the cost of a full revamp of the leisure “would be much higher than the sum of money previously indicated”.

Plans previously put forward by Monmouthshire County Council for a revamp of Chepstow Leisure Centre included an improvement to the cafe and reception area.

The minor refurbishment of the cafe is expected to cost around £225,000.

Fitness equipment will also be updated as part of the refurbishment, this will cost £275,000.

The scheme was originally intended to improve the food and drink offer at the leisure centre and to create a more open and customer-friendly experience.

The report says: “The fitness facilities require an upgrade to the cardiovascular equipment with investment required into group exercise classes.

“This would be a similar offer to Monmouth Leisure Centre where we have seen an increased uptake for group exercise classes, increased memberships and additional part time employment opportunities.”

Memberships at both leisure centres has fallen during the coronavirus pandemic.

In February 2020 Abergavenny leisure centre had 1,862 members, but in May this year it only had 1,240 members with many continuing to freeze their memberships. This is a 33 per cent decrease.

While Chepstow had 1,650 members in February but by May of this year the figure was down to 1,139. This does not include memberships that have been frozen over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

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