New leisure centre to replace fire-damaged Abbey Leisure Centre in Selby

Fire at Abbey Leisure Centre, Selby The fire caused extensive damage at the Selby Abbey Leisure Centre in February

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A leisure centre is to be built in a North Yorkshire town to replace a facility destroyed by fire.

A fire broke out in the sauna at the Abbey Leisure Centre in Selby in February causing severe damage.

After considering a range of options for the site, Selby District Council has decided to build a new centre that will include a six-lane 25m pool.

The work is expected to take around 30 months to complete, but no start date has been revealed.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the full council on Tuesday where councillors agreed to "start from scratch at the site to deliver a brand new leisure centre fit for the 21st Century".

'Ambitious plan'

Council leader Mark Crane said: "This is ambitious, this will take time, but this is what we need to do to deliver first-class leisure facilities.

"We're going to build a brand new leisure centre for Selby, including a new swimming pool that's better suited to people's needs.

"This doesn't just benefit Selby town; having this new facility on the doorstep will benefit people from across the district.

"It will be a real draw for the area."

A report said the project might cost up to £9m, but the council has instructed officers to reduce the capital cost "significantly during the design phase".

The council will also explore with the Wigan Leisure and Cultural Trust, which ran the centre on behalf of the council, how an energy- efficient leisure centre can reduce annual running costs.

The fire at the centre occurred less than two years after it underwent a £1.1m refurbishment.

Early investigations revealed the blaze started in the steam room and sauna area.

The Conservative-run authority said it had bought the former Walkers Bingo Hall in Portholme Crescent and had turned it into a temporary gym.

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