A proposal to turn a Moulton College building into a new leisure centre has been given the go-ahead by councillors.
Daventry District Council plans to buy the Chris Moody Centre, a sports rehabilitation centre at the college, using £8.5m of funding from housing developer contributions.
At a meeting on December 5, councillors approved a business case for the scheme and agreed to appoint Everyone Active to operate the centre off Pitsford Road, Moulton.
Community, culture and leisure portfolio holder Alan Hills said: “With the east of the district facing major housing and population growth, providing a new leisure centre to meet the needs of residents is a priority for us.
“Our proposals to buy the Chris Moody Centre and convert into a leisure centre would not only provide a sustainable solution for the site, which is no longer part of the college’s core education offer but also widen its use among the community.
“We want the centre to be an important hub for sport and leisure activity and are speaking to the existing users about our plans.
“We’re delighted to be appointing Everyone Active as operators, they already have an excellent track record of running and improving Daventry Leisure Centre over the past five years.”
A planning application has been submitted to change the use of the building so a gym and exercise studios can be installed alongside the existing swimming pool and rehabilitation hydro pools, while the car park will be extended and a health spa will be added.
A decision is expected to be made in the new year on the application and, subject to approval, building work could start in spring, with the new fitness suite ready by the end of summer and the remainder of the works completed by the end of 2020.
The council hopes the new plans for the centre will make it financially sustainable so it can be used for a wider range of health and fitness activities for the whole community.
It is keen for community sports activities to continue at the centre and discussions about the changes are currently taking place with existing users, including Northampton Swimming Club, a spokesman said.
Simon Fearn, area manager for Everyone Active, which also runs Daventry Leisure Centre on behalf of the council, said they are thrilled taking on the proposed new leisure centre in Moulton.
"Everyone Active is dedicated to improving local people’s health and well-being by offering a wide range of ways to get active," he said.
“The new leisure centre will allow us to do just that in partnership with Daventry District Council, with state-of-the-art new facilities for the community being introduced alongside improving the existing offering.
"We’re delighted to be involved in this project and we look forward to working with the council to deliver a sustainable community facility for locals in the east of Daventry district.”