Residents see first glimpse of new multi-million leisure centre

Date published: 25 September 2018
Kerry O'Neill, Leisure centre manager at West Lindsey Leisure Centre, karen Whitfield and headteacher of MR COE School, Andrew Smith

Residents were out in force to have their say on plans for a brand new leisure centre in Market Rasen.

West Lindsey District Council held an exhibition, which included a virtual reality video to showcase plans of the £6.1 million dry leisure facility.

The plans for the new facility on Gainsborough Road, Market Rasen, include; a 3g outdoor pitch, multi-use area, group exercise studio, a sports hall and a health and fitness suite, has attracted a lot of interest.

Local resident, Brian Milne said he was impressed with the proposals. He said: “I think the plans are really good. The look of the building is very modern and impressive. “Some of the nearby villages don’t have regular buses, so I am pleased to see the outreach programme included, which will be a great asset to many.”

His wife Sue hopes the centre will bring more people into the town, which will support local businesses.

She said: “It is on the best site. It looks like it caters for a wide range of different sports and the facilities cater for different age groups. We are fortunate that we have a car but many people cannot get out and about. Any leisure centre that can get people more fit and able is good. Hopefully, it will bring people into the town and that footfall will be good for local businesses.”

Andrew Smith, Headteacher of Market Rasen Church of England Primary School was one of the first people at the event to see the plans up close.

He said: “We would be looking to work really closely with Everyone Active and West Lindsey District Council. We want to make sure the school benefits from the excellent facilities that are going to be at the back of the school.

Steve Bunney, Deputy Mayor of Market Rasen Town Council said: “It is good to see so many people having their say. I have lived in Market Rasen since the early 1990’s and I have felt for most of that time there was a need to develop the sporting and fitness facilities in the town.

“I have seen this as a package based on the Mill Road playing fields, the skate park and junior sports facilities and this new sports centre compliments that offer.

“The next step will be for the town to grow and develop, so that a much needed swimming pool is included in the scheme, which would produce a fully integrated leisure offer for the town.”

Mayor of Market Rasen, John Matthews, added: “As a town council we are delighted West Lindsey has chosen Market Rasen as a destination for this project. It shows encouraging confidence in the future of the town and the ongoing work, the town council is doing.”

The new build, which is planned to be completed in Spring 2020 is adjacent to a conservation area. The council has taken advice on the design of the building, to ensure that it complements the local area.

Karen Whitfield, project manager for the development said: “The building has been set back on the site to provide a green buffer and to limit the impact of the building and it’s visibility from the road.

“A neutral palette has been chosen, which blends in with the natural environment, including the wood finish to the front of the building.

“Following a study on other local buildings and the heritage of the town, bricks will be chosen that compliment those already used within the town.”

Gary O Connell, who has a holiday home in the town, said: “The plans are brilliant. I like the way the centre is set back off the road. I will 100 per cent use it. It has been good to see windows in the gym because that really makes all the difference. In future, if a pool could be added that would be great.”

The new facility will include:

  • Health and fitness facilities
  • A sports hall
  • A multi-use area
  • An exercise studio
  • 3G outdoor pitch

Alan Skidmore and his wife Rosemary who live close to the new development were pleased to be able to ask questions to the development team.

Mr Skidmore said: “I like the layout. Our only concern is perhaps the five a side pitch and the light from the floodlights, although some lighting would be good as it is dark where we are.”

His wife Rosemary added: “Market Rasen needs something like this.”

Cllr Tom Smith thanked everyone for popping along to the event, which was held at the Festival Hall.

He said: “I would like to thank everyone who came out to view the plan and asked questions. The council values the role that leisure plays in keeping our communities fit and active, as well as the associated social benefits.

“This development is possible because of the way the Council has re-worked its leisure contract. Under the new arrangements the Council no longer pay for leisure provision. 

“However the whole of the leisure service has been revitalised – the centre at Gainsborough has been refurbished, there will be a sports outreach service which covers the whole of the district and the new leisure centre is being built.  All of this is at no cost to local taxpayers.”

Cllr Lewis Strange said: “It is a breath of blue sky thinking. Something for Market Rasen to pin its future too. It is tremendously good news for the eastern side of West Lindsey the health and wellbeing of residents.”

Residents still have until Monday 22 October to have their say on the plans. Visit:

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