People will have to pay to park at Tameside’s flagship £16m leisure centre under new proposals.
The ‘wellness centre’, which is currently under construction in Denton, will include an eight-lane competition swimming pool, learner pool, spa area, fitness suite and ten-pin bowling alley.
A report to the strategic and capital monitoring panel states that introducing pay and display parking at the centre has ‘a number of benefits’.
There are 109 parking spaces at the former Oldham Batteries site, and a coach or bus bay off Lance Corporal Andrew Breeze Way.
Officers say it is proposed that parking be regulated with the introduction of a pay and display system from the first day of operation.
It would have the same system as is already in place at Active Ashton in the town centre, which has ‘zone 1’ charges.
This would mean people would have to pay 50p to park for up to half an hour, £1 for up to three hours or £2 all day.
From 6pm to midnight, it would cost a pound and on Sunday that would drop to £1 from 8am to 6pm.
The maximum period cars could be parked outside the leisure centre is ten hours.
It would provide a ‘low cost parking solution for customers’, the report adds.
“The parking system will be managed and regulated by the council to ensure sufficient parking places for visitors to the site,” officers say.
“Sport England has confirmed they have no evidence to suggest that charging to park at leisure sites has a detrimental impact on participation.
“The income derived from pay and display at the site will be used to offset the cost of managing and monitoring the site by the council.”
The total value of the scheme was budgeted at around £16.2m.
But a further £150k has been added by the town hall due to cost pressures and to try and prevent delays.
This extra cash will cover ‘enhanced’ cycle storage facilities as well as the parking control measures and infrasture.
The wellness centre project was drawn up under former council leader Kieran Quinn, who described it as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of £20m worth of leisure investment in the borough.
And Sport England are backing the scheme with a £1.6m grant.
The facility is expected to open by April next year.