RESIDENTS in Tewkesbury should soon be able to enjoy a new leisure centre.
The borough council is considering replacing Cascades with two swimming pools and other facilities within its own grounds. It has earmarked its Gloucester Road site for the development.
Today's announcement is a big step forward for the authority, which has been considering creating a new leisure centre for several years.
It runs Cascades in Spring Gardens on behalf of The Swimming Bath Trust, which owns it.
Both have been investigating the potential for a new centre as refurbishment costs to bring Cascades up to modern standards have been estimated at £3.8 million.
It is also predicted that the existing centre, which was built in 1969, will continue to cost the council more to maintain and run. Marion Roope, chairman of the trust, said: We have been working closely with the borough council to make sure that people in Tewkesbury continue to have a place to swim and keep fit and will continue to support the council as they investigate the options for a new centre."
By building a new facility, the council aims to make considerable savings by providing more energy-efficient facilities to generate more income.
Like Cascades, it would include a 25m main swimming pool and a learner pool. It would also have a fitness gym, health suite and cafe.
It would, for the first time, have a dance studio.
Cascades would remain open while a new facility was built.
The council said creating a new leisure centre on the Cascades site would not have been suitable because users could have been left without a facility for up to two years while building work took place.
Officials said keeping the leisure centre in Tewkesbury would meet the needs of the public and, having investigated various sites, the Gloucester Road one was the best in terms of value for money. The council has yet to decide whether it will build a new centre, but will now investigate the matter further.