Borough Council delays Bedworth physical activity hub project
Published on Monday, 9th January 2023
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council is to delay the project to replace Bedworth’s ageing leisure centre with a state-of-the-art physical activity hub if Councillors agree this month.
The global economic situation and very significant inflation to construction costs here in the UK, together with newly identified extensive groundworks required for the proposed building on the Miners’ Welfare Park site, have seen projected costs escalate from around £27.5 million to more than £34 million.
With the substantial inflationary pressure, Councillors are being advised there should be a review of the project and funding available.
A report to the January meeting of the Borough Council’s ruling Cabinet recommends a delay to further work on the project, while investigation of potential funding options takes place.
The project is to be funded by Council borrowing and a number of grants, including £2 million from Sport England and £14.95 million from Whitehall’s Levelling Up Fund.
Cllr Kris Wilson, Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, explained:
“Our priority is to help make Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough a great place to live, work and visit, and this project has an important part to play in delivering that priority. But we have an overriding duty to ensure that the project is affordable and deliverable.
“The Council is not immune to the global inflationary pressures facing the construction industry, which has forced up prices across the board. When we originally budgeted for the project, no one could have predicted the extraordinary financial pressures we are now facing.
“Delaying the work at this time will help us identify potential funding options that might enable us to build the Physical Activity Hub. We are not alone in facing these difficulties, and other councils across the country are having to make similar decisions.
“But we can’t commit to this spending unless we can be certain this Borough Council can afford it. Just like everyone else at the moment, we must ensure we can balance the books.
“Officers and I will be speaking to a range of agencies including government departments. In these difficult circumstances, we believe by delaying further work at this time we can take the time we need to get the very best result for the people of Nuneaton and Bedworth.”