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North Devon Council awarded £1.75m of National Lottery funding from Sport England

This Sport England funding will go towards replacing the ageing North Devon Leisure Centre, a project which Max Associates provided expert advice and guidance to North Devon District Council after being appointed to deliver a Sport England compliant study. The new facility provision compliant study analysed which current facilities provided for at North Devon Leisure Centre should be incorporated into a new facility and any changes in customers’ demands since the leisure centre was built and what alternative facilities should be considered. The business case was used by the Council to support their successful funding application to Sport England

The Council has subsequently appointed Max Associates to manage the procurement process for a new operator to deliver the design, build and operation of the new centre at Seven Brethren. With this Sport England funding and £1.5m from the Coastal Communities Fund in place final tenders from the leisure operators who are currently vying for the contract have been requested. Tenders are to include a minimum of a 25 metre eight-lane pool, learner pool, sports hall, fitness suite and exercise studios on land adjoining the tennis centre. The contract will also include operating Tarka Tennis Centre and Ilfracombe Pool and Fitness Centre for the next 20 years. The successful leisure operator is expected to be selected in the next month.

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden, says: “This is superb news! I’m so pleased to hear we’ve been successful in both our funding bids, which is testament to the hard work of the team delivering the project. Both funders have recognised how important swimming is to our community and we will press on now to deliver a top notch pool and leisure facilities we can all be proud of at Tarka Tennis Centre.”

Work has already begun to replace one of the grass football pitches at Tarka Tennis Centre with a full-size Artificial Grass Pitch, following more successful funding bids to The Premier League and FA Facilities Fund and Devon County Council.


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