‘Ambitious plans’ for new Knaresborough leisure centre revealed


Sep 30, 2021
Today's plans showing how the building will look.

Harrogate Borough Council has revealed how its proposed new multi-million pound leisure centre in Knaresborough will look.

The council plans to build the new facility on the site of Knaresborough Pool on King James Road by spring 2023.

The new centre will have a six-lane, 25-metre pool, learner pool with flume, sauna and steam room, fitness suite and studio and spin studio.

Designs also show that it will have a café, electric car charging points, bicycle storage and a large play area.

The council has said it would prefer to build the centre towards the rear of the existing pool, where the play park is currently located, rather than build on Fysche field.

Knaresborough Pool would remain open throughout construction. When the new building opens, the council would demolish the existing pool and create a new play area in its place.

An aerial view of the plans.

However, the council is keeping the option of building on Fysche field on the table as “option B” under the plans.

If the council went ahead with building on Fysche field then it would create a new green space in place of Knaresborough Pool.

Some Knaresborough people are concerned Fysche field and the adjoining children’s playground area could be lost and have a launched a campaign to “protect central Knaresborough’s only recreational green space from being concreted over”.

Share your views on the Knaresborough leisure centre plans

The council has now asked for residents to share their views online ahead of a formal planning application. It will also host an in-person consultation at Knaresborough Pool on October 6 between 5pm and 8pm.

Cllr Stanley Lumley, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, and chair of the board of directors at Brimhams Active, said:

“We have ambitious plans to reduce the proportion of the population that are physically inactive but we can’t do this without investing in our facilities.

“This multi-million pound investment for Knaresborough will create a 21st century facility that provides fantastic opportunities for local people to move more, live well and feel great.

“Along with our new facility in Ripon and the redevelopment of the Hydro in Harrogate, as well as the districts other great leisure centres and pools, I hope people feel motivated, supported and inspired to stay active.”

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Mark Tweedie, managing director of Brimhams Active, said:

“Through the provision of fantastic modern leisure and wellness facilities and engaging, inclusive services we will be able to help many more people become active, lead healthier lifestyles and therefore live longer, more independent and happier lives.”

James Foley, commercial director for Alliance Leisure Services, said:

“The proposed transformation for Knaresborough has the capability to create a hugely positive impact within the community for generations to come.”

Backlash over search for locations

The current site was one of four options, along with Conyngham Hall, Knaresborough House and Hay-a-Park under consideration for the new leisure centre last year.

The council faced a backlash for considering Grade II* listed Conyngham Hall, with Knaresborough Civic Society among those opposing the move.

A Hands Off Conyngham Hall Grounds petition by the Harrogate and Knaresborough Liberal Democrats attracted more than 1,600 signatures.

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