New leisure centre alongside housing development planned for Worthing

Worthing Leisure Centre (photo from Google Maps Street View)
Worthing Leisure Centre (photo from Google Maps Street View)

A state-of-the art leisure centre could be delivered in Worthing alongside new housing.

Worthing Leisure Centre in Shaftesbury Avenue, Durrington, is currently run by South Downs Leisure and includes a double sports hall, squash courts, 3G football pitches, gym, cafe, function room and athletics track.

However since the centre was built 47 years ago it is ‘nearing the end of its useful economic life’, according to Worthing Borough Council.

Therefore the council is considering plans to redevelop the entire site and re-provide the leisure centre.

Any new facilities would have to be built on another part of the site to keep continuity of services throughout any development.

The site is included in the emerging Worthing local plan, which suggests proposals could include a level of enabling housing development.

The council’s leadership is due to discuss the project at a meeting on Tuesday (March 5) where they will be asked to allocate £150,000 for a feasibility study and development of a business case.

A master planner for the site will be asked to develop a range of options for consultation as to how the site could be developed to include leisure use, housing and public open space.

Construction of a new leisure centre could potentially start by the end of 2020 with facilities opening in the second half of 2021, according to officers.

However these timescales are indicative only and will be reviewed as the feasibility study is developed.

The joint strategic committee will also be asked to support the development of a sports and activity strategy for Adur and Worthing.

According to officers: “Given the range of facilities across our places and ambition to develop not only a strategy for our leisure facilities, but also a wide ranging strategy that improves the health and wellbeing of our communities by promoting activity of all types, there is a need to coordinate and align this work.

“Clearly it is in the interests of both councils to operate as efficiently and commercially as possible; and, must coordinate all community and partner engagements.

“Across Adur and Worthing our demography is changing and there is a need to ensure that the councils adapt to changing sport and recreational needs.

“There is a need to have up to date evidence to inform our provision and support our future investment in our sports and leisure facilities.”