EXCLUSIVE: Melton unveils plans for multi-purpose complex to replace George Campbell Leisure Centre

A NEW multi-purpose leisure complex is planned for March after Fenland District Council admitted the George Campbell Leisure Centre “is past it sell by date”.

The shock news was revealed by council leader Alan Melton after one councillor pointed out that no money had been put into the budget for the centre.

Cllr Melton said it was “no longer viable” for the council to continue to patch up and repair the centre and the council had begun talks about a replacement.

He outlined his vision for a leisure centre and pool with wave machines and family facilities that could provide March and the Fens with a massive tourist boost.

He said March was the ideal place to create such a centre as it was the centre of the district and had a pool now in need of replacing.

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He said he had instructed officers to begin work on a new development that could be financed through section 106 funding, and by talking to developers through the planning system. External grants would also be sought.

Cllr Melton said the key to the success of a new leisure complex was to ensure it had clear revenue streams to make it sustainable.

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“We’re being innovative and have asked senior officers to come up with the costing,” he said. “It will be not just for the people of March but become an ‘aide memoire’ for the people of Fenland.”

March councillor Fred Yeulett welcomed the proposals and described the proposed leisure centre as a “grand vision”.

But finance portfolio holder John Clark also promised that in the meantime the council would not let the George Campbell deteriorate to the point where no-one could use it.

The issue was raised after Cllr Melton was quizzed about a capital building programme that showed money being spent on the Manor Leisure Centre in Whittlesey (�470,000) and allocation of �600,000 over two years for the new Chatteris leisure centre.

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