‘Ultimate ambition’ to deliver new Broomfields leisure facility – Warrington Guardian

A SENIOR councillor says the ‘ultimate ambition’ is to deliver a new Broomfields Leisure Centre amid concerns over the state of the current site in Appleton.

LiveWire runs leisure facilities in Warrington on behalf of the council.

Cllr Sharon Harris (LD – Appleton) has repeatedly raised concerns over the state of the facility in the south of the town.

She said: “I have been campaigning for quite some time, nearly two years, about the poor state of Broomfields Leisure Centre which is in a bad state of repair, both inside and out.

“I know that, in the short term, consideration has been given to a minimal refurbishment to make the centre feel less sub-standard.

“However, my ultimate aim is to have a complete rebuild the centre to give Appleton and south Warrington residents an up to date, state of the art facility.

“I will continue to press for this as our residents deserve facilities which are at least equal to facilities enjoyed by residents in other parts of the town.

“In the interim, I have asked LiveWire to review their fees for Broomfields members and I am hopeful that they will do this although this might be part of a general fee structure review.”

Cllr Tony Higgins (LAB – Fairfield and Howley), cabinet member for leisure and community, has been monitoring the issue closely.

He said: “We have proved our commitment to investing in our leisure services.

“Obviously, the ultimate ambition would be to see a brand new Broomfields facility but there are other questions about how we get to that point.

“The first question is whether the leisure centre is in the right site – is it in an appropriate site?

“If we want to deliver a leisure facility we need to look at all options and speak to others, including the school and residents, about where would a new Broomfields site be located.”

Cllr Higgins also highlighted the financial hit LiveWire has faced, along with the rest of the rest of the leisure industry, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“All the leisure industry has taken a huge hit with Covid-19,” he added.

“The business cases around our leisure centres are ones that should always operate to support other areas and other services within LiveWire, such as library services.

“But we have got a fantastic record in Warrington of delivering not only on our leisure services and our commitment to libraries, but also our commitment to delivering on the Time Square development et cetera.”

As reported in October, the council stepped in to save LiveWire from going into administration before the end of the financial year.