Designs for new leisure, culture and arts facilities in Harpenden being developed

Printer-friendly page
News release: 17 March 2017

Feedback on proposals for new leisure, arts and cultural facilities for Harpenden and the rest of the District is being taken forward in the £18 million project’s designs.

Harpenden Leisure

St Albans City and District Council is now developing detailed designs for an integrated leisure centre and adjacent arts facility ready for a planning application this October.

The designs use feedback received during the final phase of the community consultation, completed earlier this month, and from meetings and workshops held last year.

At a meeting on Thursday 16 March, Cabinet heard that all responses have now been consolidated and a full analysis will be published online soon.

In response to stakeholder feedback and requests from the public the designs aim to provide:

Leisure Centre

• Increased swimming capacity and space for spectators with a larger learner pool, including a movable floor, and 100 spectator seats alongside the main and learner pools.
• A sports hall with space for five badminton courts.
• A larger changing village with more lockers.
• A larger park-facing gym with 160 stations, compared to the current 64, and three studios. 
• A steam room and sauna.
• A crèche with an outside area.
• A café that can be accessed by park-only users as well as visitors to the leisure centre.

Arts centre

• A theatre for more than 500 people with partly retractable seating to provide for greater flexibility.
• Three multi-purpose function rooms.
• A performance space.
• A cultural and heritage exhibition space.
• Two bars and refreshment area.
• A ramped entrance with views of the park.

Additional parking is also being planned alongside the leisure centre to cater for visitors to the new facilities and the town centre. This will be surrounded by trees and bushes to mask the view from the park.

Cllr Annie Brewster, Portfolio Holder for Sports, Leisure and Heritage at St Albans City and District Council, said: “I want to thank everyone who has participated in the community consultation and provided us with valuable insights to help shape the designs for these great new facilities. We are using the feedback to develop detailed designs for the planning application due to be submitted in October. There will be a separate consultation on these designs as part of the planning process later this year.”

The agenda and papers for the meeting are available on the Council’s website as well as the webcast.

Upgrading leisure, arts and cultural facilities across the District is a key priority for the Council. In the last five years, the Council has opened Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre, re-built Batchwood Sports Centre following a fire, and built the new Cotlandswick Sports Centre.

More information about the planned redevelopment of leisure, arts and cultural facilities for Harpenden is available online.

Councillor contact:
Cllr Annie Brewster, Portfolio Holder for Sports, Leisure and Heritage at St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01438 832255

Contact for the media:
Amanda Wilkinson,
Senior Communications Officer
St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01727 819317
Follow us on Twitter: