December 1, 2020 1.23 pm This story is over 41 months old

Lincoln council exploring replacing its leisure centres

More modern facilities instead

Lincoln’s Yarborough Leisure Centre could be replaced with a new and modern “leisure hub” in the Western Growth Corridor under potential city council plans for sports provision.

The assessment on sports facilities also suggests the City of Lincoln Council will consider the future of Birchwood Leisure Centre, including the potential to replace it as well.

Members of the Policy Scrutiny Committee will examine the report by LK2 Associates on Tuesday.

In recommendations to the council, LK2 suggests the medium term plan to consider “the replacement of Yarborough Leisure Centre in the north of Lincoln” including “how this might impact on other sites such as Ravendale sports ground, Bishop Grosseteste University, Sudbrooke Drive and Sobraon barracks”.

The long term plan would be to develop a new “leisure hub” within the Western Growth Corridor as well as support a new stadium for Lincoln City and the development of sports grounds, facilities and offerings from Lincoln’s universities and college.

“Ultimately, the long-term plan for the sports provision across the city is to replace ageing stock and provide modern sports and leisure offerings that attract high levels of participation,” said the report.

The latest masterplan for the Western Growth Corridor showing the bus-only routes.

The Western Growth Corridor alone is expected to increase the number of residents by more than 7,000.

The plan would be part of a new “tiered” approach to providing “pitch-based” sports in the city as it grows in the next 20 years.

The tiers include:

  • One – a large single site with multiple indoor and outdoor sports offerings and full community access
  • Two – A single site with multiple sport offerings with managed or agreed community access
  • Three – a small site with separate sports/activity offerings
  • Four – a small site with only one sport or activity offered

LK2 said the idea would be to have tier one facilities in central locations based on a geographical split, with lower tier facilities supporting them.

“The provision of sporting venues across the city is currently disparate and has been developed over the years on the basis of demand rather than strategic thinking,” said the report.

“In the future, a coordinated approach to provision could dramatically improve the participation rates for sport, physical activity and health and wellbeing and maximise efficiencies particularly in maintenance, programming and financial sustainability.”

A map showing the nearest existing sites which would be considered “tier 1” under the new plans. | Image: LK2

A survey carried out by Sport England between May 2019-May 2020 shows that 28.7% of Lincoln residents were classed as “inactive” (less than 30 minutes a week) – compared to 30.6% county wide and 25.5% across the whole of Lincoln.

However, 62.5% of the population did more than 150 minutes of activity a week, compared to 57% in Lincolnshire and 62.8% in England.

Sports England would have a major say in any final decisions. The move would also hinge on the Western Growth Corridor getting the go ahead.

The 3,200-home development was submitted by the City of Lincoln Council to its own planning committee in September.

It includes 20 hectares of commercial/employment space, a new leisure village, green space and flood mitigation improvements.