County council back plans to build new leisure centre in Bedworth

  Posted: 15.10.20 at 13:45 by David Lawrence - Local Democracy Reporter

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Leaders at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council have backed plans to create new leisure centres in Bedworth and Nuneaton – even though the latter, known at the Pingles, is less than 20 years old.

Members of the council’s cabinet this week voted in favour of the two projects and a third new build at Top Farm to the north of Nuneaton. They agreed that the replacement of the Bedworth facilities was the priority with work starting as soon as practically possible.

Cllr Ian Lloyd (Lab, Camp Hill), the portfolio holder for arts and leisure, said: “I think it is an exciting time. This document clearly sets out the vision for this borough council and the people that were consulted.

“It is going to see a new facility in Bedworth and a new larger facility at Nuneaton. All the sporting organisations involved in the two wet centres are crying out for space. It’s also about having space for members of the public to swi at the same time as the clubs.”

But questions were raised by Cllr Keith Kondakor (Green, Weddington).

He said: “Everyone agrees that Bedworth Leisure Centre is an absolute must, it’s 40 years old. But there really must be a question to be asked about demolishing a 20-year-old swimming pool at the Pingles which should have another ten or 20 years life in it.

“It actually makes a lot of sense to stagger the rebuilding of our swimming pools because you get two bites of the cherry at getting the size right. If we wait ten years to redevelop Pingles then we’ll actually know what our population growth was and it gets ten years more use out of our asset.”

He also urged the council to give a thought to outdoor sports with park runs and youth football and rugby being so successful.

He added: “We don’t want to put all our money into buildings when all our activity can be split between indoors and out.”

Keith Hollis, the council’s sports development manager, explained why the decision to build a new centre at Nuneaton had been taken.

He said: “I took advice from Sport England who helped fund Pingles just under 20 years ago and their advice was that the most efficient and beneficial way forward would be to build new. Trying to match an old build with a new build, albeit only 20 years, can be very costly.

“By the time we get around to doing Pingles it will be several more years on – Bedworth is the number one priority.”

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A message from the Editor, Nick Hudson

Hi, I'm Nick Hudson, the Editor of Bedworth Nub News.

I began my local news career almost half a century ago by covering the three towns of Bedworth, Nuneaton & Atherstone for the old Observer. My first job was to collect the immaculately-typed copy of the 'Queen of Memories' Mary Ashmore from her Longford home.

I reported from the sidelines as the forward-thinking Bedworth Urban District Council was joined at the hip with neighbouring Nuneaton and worked as one authority from May 1974.

In 1983 I had the opportunity to launch the Trader weekly newspaper into Bedworth and Nuneaton for free entrepreneur Lionel Pickering.

It would be 30 years before I returned as the press secretary to the borough's first citizen Bob Copland whose charity fund in 2013-14 raised a record-breaking £70,000 and saw the magnificent achievement of the opening of the Mayor's Cafe and Community Gardens by the end of his year in office.

I'm now returning to my journalistic roots and I want you - the great people of Bedworth - to join me in making the news in your own images.

We're going back in time to resurrect a bygone golden age of local reporting - made famous by old colleagues Mort Birch and Alan Robinson who launched the Bedworth Echo 40 years ago and then seven years ago last week when Mort joined another former friend and scribe Steve Evans in creating the monthly Bedworth Post.

Both papers set out to inform, entertain and fascinate with stories about the people and places that reflect the character, flavour and rich heritage of a town steeped in history from the Domesday Book of 1086 through hat making to ribbon weaving and most famously, mining.

Bedworth Nub News will hope to capture all the above while embracing the advantages of the modern digital era where information is available 24/7 with "your town in your pocket".

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And Nub News can be the perfect platform for your organisation, charity, business, church, school, sports team - anyone in fact - to share your fantastic achievements with the community.

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