Update: view the first pictures of what residents and visitors can expect from the new Alton Leisure Centre on our Flickr account.
A completely new leisure centre is to be built next to the old centre, which will remain open while the new facility is built.
The new building, to be completed during 2019, will incorporate a range of modern facilities, including a six-lane 25m indoor pool and a learner pool with movable floor with wet-side village changing facilities built in line with Sport England guidelines.
A large fitness suite will be spacious enough to house the latest cardiovascular and resistance equipment as well as dedicated areas for stretch and free weights.
Two generously-sized studios will offer an extensive range of classes and activities and dedicated first floor dry changing facilities will provide clean, spacious areas in which to change.
Dry changing facilities will be provided on the ground floor to serve both the large sports hall and new external 3G pitches.
Additional facilities, including two glass-backed squash courts with spectator viewing, a climbing centre and children’s soft play zone will further extend the range of sport and leisure activities available.
A distinctive spa will be created which will include a range of treatment rooms, sauna, steam, hydro pool and relaxation areas.
The current Alton Sports Centre has a 25m 6-lane pool. It is planned to replicate this in the new centre, as per the outline planning application approved in 2015. The reasons for a 6-lane pool are: (a) given the nearby 8-lane provision elsewhere*, there is not enough demand in the Alton area to justify the extra building and maintenance costs that would be required; (b) the footprint of the site would not accommodate 8 lanes.
*Fleet, 26 mins; Aldershot, 27 mins; Guildford, 33 mins; Waterlooville, 35 mins
Squash participation has dropped significantly in the last five years. In March 2012 daily squash court usage was at 26 per cent, by March 2013 it had dropped to 13 per cent. Squash remains an important sport in the area, supported by a successful club, but the reduction of squash courts reflects the changing preferences of leisure centre users over a long period of time.
What improvements have been made?
|Reception||A modern design with improved customer experience.|
|Sports hall||A larger, six court hall, with 10m height and built to Sport England’s latest specification.|
|Six-lane pool||Six-lane pool built to Sport England’s latest specification, to include electronic timing pads.|
|Teaching pool||Larger with rising/lowering floor to alter depth.|
|4 Squash courts||2 Squash courts|
|Gym||Significantly bigger with 130 stations offering the latest cardiovascular and resistance equipment.|
|Studio 1||To be extended|
|Spin studio||Extended to include more bikes and virtual spinning|
|Café||Modern with improved viewing areas|
|Health suite||Including sauna, Jacuzzi and other luxurious facilities|
|Climbing||A modern clip’n’climb facility|
|Changing rooms male||High-quality dry-side male and female changing rooms, with better access for disabled users and dedicated changing rooms for gyms and spa users|
|Village family change||Larger, more family-friendly wet-side changing facilities with more baby changing rooms and larger family cubicles|
|Holistic Studio for yoga, pilates and mind and body activities|