Consultation on indoor leisure facilities in Sandy

Questions and answers about our Sandy leisure consultation

These FAQs had been prepared to support the consultation on the proposals improve the leisure offer in Sandy.

The consultation seeks views on the proposed extension of the Jenkins Pavilion at Sunderland Road Recreation Ground, Sandy, which will enable more people to access high quality sports facilities.

The proposed extension to the Jenkins would provide:

  • two full size, purpose-built exercise studios
  • larger gym (approximately 55 stations)
  • a flexible studio space for spin bikes and other activities
  • reception, office, accessible toilets and lift

Why are we proposing these changes?

Sandy Secondary School hosts a range of indoor and outdoor sport and leisure facilities, which comprise both school sports facilities which are available for community use; and the dedicated leisure health and fitness (gym) facilities; both managed by our leisure management contractor, SLL.

Our plans for a major refurbishment and new facilities at Sandy Secondary School mean the health and fitness suite area, and the two rooms previously used for exercise classes, will be needed for educational use.

This means that an alternative location for these facilities is needed.

Why is the Jenkins Pavilion the best place to put these relocated facilities?

The area around the School and Sunderland Road recreation ground already provides a wide range of indoor and outdoor sports facilities, which the new Leisure Facilities Strategy identifies as forming a sporting hub for Sandy. As such, this area offers the best opportunity to develop the sporting hub by delivering the new, improved gym and exercise studio facilities; and adding to the Jenkins’ existing facilities means people have single destination for a range of their sporting needs. The extension to the Jenkins allows for the existing Jenkins facility to deliver its main purpose of being a sporting and social hub for the local sports teams.

Extending the Jenkins also means that we can build upon existing facilities instead of paying for duplicate ones, meaning the budget can be spent on the delivery of the sports facilities/spaces.

How will the extension connect to the existing pavilion?

The plans propose adding a 2-storey extension for the gym, 2 exercise studios, a bike/flexible studio plus new entrance, office / reception and accessible toilets.

There will be a controlled access to the existing pavilion, and the two nearest group changing rooms will be converted into cubicles to serve both outdoor and indoor sports users.

How will the existing and new facilities be managed?

It is anticipated that SLL will manage both new and existing facilities as a comprehensive centre. SLL already manages the Jenkins on behalf of Sandy Town Council and this includes bookings for the outdoor sports pitches.

SLL will provide on-site management throughout the day, and will be responsible for managing the bookings for the outdoor pitches, as well as exercise classes and changing rooms.

An effective booking system and programming of outdoor sports fixtures and indoor sports will ensure that existing and new users have access to changing facilities.

What will happen to the other sports facilities in Sandy Secondary School?

The school refurbishment plans show the current gym and exercise class spaces will be converted for other education uses, but the sports hall and squash courts will remain unchanged. Together with the school’s outdoor sports facilities i.e. netball / tennis courts and grass pitches, the hall and squash courts will continue to be available for community use.

When the school refurbishment is complete and the new gym and studios at provided at the Jenkins, the school will be responsible for managing their own sports facilities for community use.

A requirement of the planning permission for the new facilities and refurbishment works at the school, a community use agreement (CUA) will be required between us and the school. This will detail the current and new sports facilities which will be available for community use and include hours of operation, booking procedure and cost structure.

Sport England will require a CUA to be signed as part of the planning permission process to ensure school facilities are available to the community.

Sandy Secondary School has already confirmed that it is committed to delivering these sports facilities to the residents of Sandy on completion of the works.

Who will manage the school's facilities?

This is a decision for the school to make over the next year or two while the construction works are in progress. They may choose to manage the facilities in house or employ a contractor, but this decision has not been made at this point.

Until the Jenkins extension is completed and open, SLL will continue to manage the facilities within the school on its behalf.

Will users have to contact different places to make bookings for sports facilities?

We'll work with the school to make bookings as easy as possible. This may be via a single contractor or could be a shared telephone contact.

Full details of how bookings can be made for all the facilities will be published nearer the time.

What will happen when the consultation period ends?

The feedback from the online consultation, and from the one to one meetings with outdoor sports clubs/users will be collated and the project team will consider how / if changes could be made within the space and budget available for the project.

Feedback on the issues / requests raised through the consultation will be provided.

A final draft scheme will then be prepared for the submission of planning permission. The planning application will go through the usual consultation process where residents and key stakeholder such as the clubs, Sport England, Bedfordshire Football Association, Bedfordshire Cricket etc. will have the opportunity to formally respond to the proposed scheme.

Any amendments will then be made so the project complies with planning and building control requirements. When planning permission is granted, the tender process to appoint a contractor will take place.

When will the new Jenkins extension be open?

To ensure the school spaces are available for the planned construction works, the Jenkins extension programme shows a completion date in summer 2023.