Rushden could soon have a dedicated hall for gymnastics

The Pemberton Centre could be getting a dedicated hall for gymnastics
The Pemberton Centre could be getting a dedicated hall for gymnastics

Plans for a gymnastics hall in Rushden will be discussed next week.

As part of its contract with East Northants Council to manage its leisure centres, Freedom Leisure committed to investing about £2 million into the facilities.

Investment into various projects so far includes the introduction of a climbing wall and new reception/cafe at the Nene Centre, a new gym at Rushden’s Splash Pool and new fitness equipment at each gym.

Freedom Leisure had also proposed to replace the floor in the Pemberton Suite at the Pemberton Centre due to the existing flooring being ‘beyond repair’ in various places.

However, the firm is now proposing that instead of just replacing the wooden flooring, the room is turned into a dedicated gymnastics hall so it can better support their internal Eclipse Gymnastics Club and their ability to provide gymnastics in East Northants.

Members of East Northants Council’s policy and resources committee will meet on Monday (November 5) to discuss the recommendation by officers to approve the capital investment project proposals so Freedom Leisure can convert the Pemberton Suite into a dedicated gymnastics hall.

Documents submitted by Freedom Leisure about the proposals say the current gymnastics club at the Pemberton Centre has grown steadily since its inception 10 years ago.

Currently, there are more than 300 gymnasts registered with the club and 147 registered on the waiting list.

The proposals also say: “Post contract award during the staff briefings at Pemberton Centre, it was suggested that there may be more benefit in using the Pemberton Suite as a gymnastics hall rather than a multi-use space.

“On further investigation, it was identified by Freedom Leisure that this would be a sensible option to progress to offer a better service and facilities to the community of Rushden.

“The Pemberton Centre would cease to operate as a community space which would have an impact on one remaining hirer (U3A) who have secured a new venue for when this proposal is agreed.

“Previous hirers have already found new venues and moved back in January 2018.”

As part of the proposals, additional benefits to centre customers would include a Costa Cofee offering and a purpose-built training/meeting room.

Freedom Leisure says this project would enable more people to be more active, more often and they would envisage more than 200 additional participants per week once fully implemented.

If the plans get the go-ahead, they want to start the works as soon as possible and hope to have them completed by the end of January 2019.

The proposals will be discussed by the policy and resources committee at their meeting starting at 7.30pm on Monday in the council chamber at East Northamptonshire House in Thrapston.