Consultation on indoor leisure facilities in Sandy

Results of consultation on indoor leisure facilities in Sandy

We completed a public consultation between 29 June 2021 to 24 August 2021 for the proposed Sandy leisure offer, which was to provide a two-storey extension to the Jenkins Pavilion at Sunderland Road Recreation Ground.

The proposed new extension would house following new facilities to replace the gym and studio space at Sandy Secondary School:

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

The initial extension design includes:

  • a new entrance with a controlled link to the existing building’s facilities
  • converting two existing outdoor sports communal changing rooms into cubicle facilities, to provide flexible changing facilities for indoor and outdoor activities

In total, we received 73 responses to the consultation. A strong majority of responses were positive about the proposals, with 92% agreeing or strongly agreeing with the proposal to provide two full size purpose-built exercise studios, provide a flexible studio space for spin bikes and other activities. 89% of respondents agreed or strongly agree dwith the proposal to provide a larger gym and 83% of respondent agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal to provide cubicle changing facilities.

Responses to questions

The public consultation has now been completed and included local stakeholders, partners, and local sports clubs. We've collated comments and questions from the consultation period and aim to give more clarity to these points below.

No pool

The review of the Leisure Facilities Strategy (adopted July 2020) included a Sport England Facilities Planning Model (FPM) study to review the current provision of swimming pools and assess the future needs to meet demand across our area. The modelling included the planned housing growth identified in the Local Plan and assessed demand up to 2028. The findings show that the existing pool sites are already meeting over 90% of the demand for pools across our area and there is no one location which has sufficient demand to require provision of a new pool. Sandy is within the catchment of the pool at Saxon Leisure Centre in Biggleswade and as such there is insufficient demand for Sandy to have a standalone pool.

Too busy

The leisure extension will increase the capacity of the gym offering, almost doubling the space and number of gym stations; as well as providing two purpose-built exercise studios which comply with Sport England size and design guidance. Both facilities will increase the available capacity and enable more members to access the facilities.

Not suitable fitness spaces

The planned facilities will be designed and constructed in accordance with Sport England guidance, addressing the issues of capacity and quality of facilities which will be available to users. The new facilities will deliver an enhanced environment and exercise experience. In addition, the new extension will include a multi-purpose room that allows for spinning classes and a variety of other activities which can be varied to meet demand. 

Social area / café

As part of our proposed leisure offer, we'll be enhancing the current Jenkins Pavilion social/training room to offer a more social area with an enhanced catering offer. This enhancement will allow for better services for sports clubs, gym members, park users and all residents and non-members.


The project will include an extension to the current car park to meet the increased demand. Plus, we will be working with our partners at Sandy Town Council and Sandy Secondary School to ensure appropriate overflow capacity is available at peak times.

Sandye Place Academy

Until the Department for Education procedures have been completed, there can be no decision on the future use of the academy site. 

The delivery programme for the Sandy Secondary School transformation requires the space currently occupied by the health and fitness suite for future education use, therefore an alternative site for the facilities had to be found which would be delivered to meet transformation timeline.

Access to school facilities

Sandy Secondary School is committed to continue to offer community access to the sports hall, squash courts, tennis courts and changing areas, and we'll work with the school to ensure that booking and using the facilities is a straightforward process.