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King Alfred could be closed and replaced by a new sports centre

Workshops to discuss possible sites for a new centre to replace the King Alfred will take place over the next few weeks
Workshops to discuss possible sites for a new centre to replace the King Alfred will take place over the next few weeks

Residents are being invited to have their say on initial ideas to replace the ageing King Alfred Leisure Centre.

Workshops and drop-in sessions are being organised by the council over the next few weeks to discuss a potential site for the new centre.

Possible options include acquiring a privately-owned site in the west of the city, building on an alternative council-owned site or building on the current site of the King Alfred.

The planned West Hub facility would provide a more modern, energy-efficient building that meets local needs, attracts visitors and enables the city to host major competitions and events.

Development of some or all of the current leisure centre will fund the delivery of the new facility.

Parts of the King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove are now over 80 years old, with increasing maintenance and running costs making it costly and inefficient to operate.

The project to construct a replacement is at a very early stage, with work on a new facility unlikely to start before early 2025.

It comes as swimming pools at the King Alfred have been closed until Easter after a breakdown of the 40-year-old boilers, which require major repairs.

Councillor Martin Osbourne, who co-chairs the tourism, economy, communities and culture committee, said: “We are aware of how much the King Alfred Leisure Centre is valued by local people.

“But, as the current boiler issues and emergency closure illustrates, we need to move forward and progress our plans to develop a replacement centre.

“Developing a new West Hub would not only offer new, state-of-the-art leisure facilities, but also improve the health and wellbeing of residents providing a range of sporting opportunities for all.

“Getting views from residents will be a vital part of the planning process to ensure that a replacement leisure facility meets their needs, both now and in the future.”

To help ensure all potential sites are explored, the council is also inviting “expressions of interest” from landowners, developers and their commercial agents to discuss potential privately-owned locations for the new centre.

Potential sites must be in the western part of the city, be big enough to accommodate a sport and leisure centre and parking facilities, and be accessible by road and public transport.