Plans for a framework for improving pools and leisure facilities, including Northfield, were approved at a meeting of Birmingham City Council cabinet yesterday.
The plans will see new and improved facilities at 6 sites across Birmingham. Northfield Pool and leisure centre, which serves the whole of the Northfield District of Northfield, Kings Norton, Longbridge and Kings Norton wards, will be replaced with a brand new privately managed facility.
However, the location of the new pool for Northfield District is yet to be decided. Rebuilding on the same site is an option, but Birmingham City Council Labour councillors had proposed a new site be used so that the service can be maintained without any interruption.
During consultation, it was suggested that land on the site of the former MG works at Longbridge could be used. This proposal raised a mixed reaction from residents and local politicians – some are happy for the service to move if it means a bigger and better facility with no service disruption, but some feel that moving the centre away from Northfield itself will adversely affect businesses in the town centre and make it less accessible for some.
At yesterday's meeting, a third option was put forward, with Price's Square in Northfield town centre (by the Post Office) being considered as a possible site.
So the possible sites being considered for the rebuild are:
- The current site on Bristol Road South, Northfield
- Somewhere on the former Rover works site at Longbridge
- Price's Square on Northfield High Street
Following the cabinet decision, Cllr Brett O'Reilly (Lab, Northfield) said: “As part of the recent consultation undertaken, which included a meeting attended by over 100 residents and stakeholders, a third site was put forward and is being considered […]”
Cllr O'Reilly confirmed that the cabinet decision means that the tender process can now begin, to decide who will run the new service on the city's behalf. However, he said that a decision on the location needs further consideration and will be made at a later date.
Cllr O'Reilly added: “I will echo my comments from today's meeting in welcoming the £6 million investment in sport and leisure in Northfield, and in a time when we can all be sceptical about consultations, it is good to see that officers of the council have embraced comments and feedback from the consultation, in actively considering a third site. Whilst I know that there will always be controversy over the final location, I am sure the new facility will be very welcome, and is a sign that a Labour run council can make a difference, even in a time of cuts and austerity”
We will update on any decisions on location of the new pool, and fate of the old building if facilities are to be moved, when we can.
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