About our indoor leisure facilities consultation for Sandy
On Tuesday 8 June, our Executive Committee approved proposals to consult on improving the indoor leisure offer in Sandy. This consultation will seek views on the proposed extension to the Jenkins Pavilion at Sunderland Road Recreation Ground, Sandy, the facilities and layout. These proposals will deliver the required facilities in a location which is convenient for residents.
Working in partnership with Sandy Town Council, which owns the Pavilion, we're developing a scheme which will relocate the gym and studios from Sandy Secondary School to the Jenkins Pavilion. This gives us the scope to provide full size, dedicated and accessible facilities which will link to the outdoor sports facilities in the existing Jenkins Pavilion building.
No leisure facilities are to be lost or reduced because of the new proposals. The community will still be able to use the existing facilities (four court sports hall, squash courts, tennis, and netball courts) at Sandy Secondary School which is currently managed by Stevenage Leisure Limited (SLL). There will be a community use agreement, which means that the school will take responsibility for hiring those facilities to the community directly.
The facilities will deliver an enhanced leisure offer for Sandy with a new larger gym, two dedicated exercise studios, a flexible space for spin classes and other activities; all supported by new entrance and reception, and a lift to ensure all areas are accessible.
Why are we proposing these changes?
Currently, the Sandy Secondary School site hosts a range of indoor and outdoor sport and leisure facilities, which comprise both the school sports facilities available for community use; and the dedicated leisure health and fitness (gym) facilities; both managed by our leisure management contractor, SLL. These shared sports facilities are valued local facilities and form an integral part of the leisure offer for Sandy.
Our transformation plans for Sandy Secondary School, which were approved by our Executive in April 2021, identify the health and fitness suite and two school spaces previously used for group exercise, as required for educational use. Therefore, an alternative location for these facilities is required.
Leisure Facilities Strategy
Our Leisure Facilities Strategy, endorsed by our Executive Committee on 8 June 2021, highlights the need to address the current quality and quantity of indoor sports facilities in Sandy; both to serve current residents and to meet the needs of the housing growth identified in our Local Plan.
The strategy considered the leisure needs for Sandy would be best met by building upon the existing range of outdoor sports facilities delivered in the area around Sandy Secondary School and the adjacent Sunderland Road Recreation Ground. This has cricket and football pitches and a floodlit all-weather pitch. Combined with the nearby athletics track, all these facilities comprise a range of high-quality sporting opportunities, which are supported by the current Jenkins Pavilion.
The strategy highlighted the benefits to residents of accessing this wide range of facilities and activities in one area: as well as the benefits to each sport of being part of a varied sporting hub. It also highlights the benefits of building on the existing range of outdoor activities provided in and near the Jenkins Pavilion and Sunderland Road Recreation Ground, to create a sporting hub for Sandy.
Jenkins Pavilion extension proposal
A feasibility study has tested a site at the rear of the Jenkins Pavilion on Sunderland Road Recreation Ground for its ability to accommodate the facilities required to exit Sandy Secondary School, and the increased scale recommended in the strategy.
The study considered a two-storey extension and concluded the site could accommodate these facilities within our budget allocation of £3.85 million for the provision of these new leisure facilities in Sandy:
- 2 full size, purpose-built exercise studios
- larger gym (with around 55 stations)
- a flexible studio space for spin bikes and other activities
- reception, office, accessible toilets, and lift
The extension design includes a new entrance with a controlled link to the existing building’s facilities and conversion of two existing communal changing rooms into cubicle facilities to provide flexible changing facilities for indoor and outdoor activities. The re-purposing of these under-used changing rooms will negate the need to construct additional changing facilities to support the new indoor facilities, whilst still offering enough changing facilities for all of our clubs and outdoor activities.
The Jenkins Pavilion is owned by Sandy Town Council and operated on its behalf by SLL. Should an extension go ahead, SLL will manage both the new and existing facilities as a comprehensive indoor and outdoor sports facility.
We are working in partnership with Sandy Town Council to develop the scheme, to ensure the pavilion functions appropriately for both the existing and new users. Ongoing discussions include securing an agreement with Sandy Town Council covering the construction, future management and operation of the pavilion and the extension.
View or download the full consultation document (PDF), which includes floor plans.