Plans for new Eastwood Park leisure centre and theatre expected early next year
Plans to build a new leisure centre and theatre in Eastwood Park are set to be submitted before the end of March.
The scheme could include a new 50m swimming pool, a spa and health suite, gym and fitness spaces and a six-court sports hall, as well as a new, accessible theatre for up to 400 people.
A proposal of application notice is to be submitted this month, with the detailed application sent in March. The council is currently targeting October next year for work to get under way.
Councillors will be asked to approve prioritising the leisure centre and theatre project, in the short term, over wider plans for the future of the park when they meet this evening (Wednesday, December 16).
There is £26m allocated for the project, which will mainly be spread over 2021/22 and 2022/23.
Cost options for the leisure centre and theatre will be included in the budget setting process for the next financial year. The existing £12.85m for 2021/22 is “sufficient” to cover the project for the coming year.
A working group was set up to look at options for the site after the park was chosen as the preferred location in June last year. It met in March and August this year.
Andrew Cahill, the council’s director of environment, said in a report: “This is potentially a high quality, visually attractive, transformational and state-of-the-art facility that is much more than simply a leisure centre development.”
A briefing and feasibility report has been drawn up by lead designer and architect, Stallan Brand.
Turner & Townsend has now been appointed as project manager and Mr Cahill’s report says they have “in-depth previous experience and knowledge regarding Eastwood leisure centre”.
The briefing and feasibility study states the park feels “dominated by the existing leisure centre and theatre, council headquarters and high school”.
“Despite feeling cluttered and lacking investment, it remains a well-used range of amenities and an important part of the district,” it adds.
“The new leisure centre and theatre presents an excellent opportunity to open up the middle of the park and reorganise elements including parking and open spaces to improve the setting for all of the facilities.”
Options being explored for the leisure centre include a water play zone, for children under five, and two flumes. The health suite could also be developed into a spa, with treatment rooms, a sauna and steam room. A library is also being considered.
Consultations were held in September with primary and secondary schools in East Renfrewshire.
A further report on the project will be presented to councillors in February.