Resort fitness hub in cash boost

Moor Park Health Centre
Moor Park Health Centre
Have your say

A Blackpool sports centre is set for £414,000 investment in a bid to keep up with demand for its facilities.

Blackpool Council is proposing to spend the cash to provide more fitness equipment and space at Moor Park Health and Leisure Centre in Bispham.

A survey of users last year found exercise classes were running at full capacity during busy times at the centre, which opened in 2011.

Now it is proposed to reconfigure an under-used sports hall to create an extended fitness studio and increase the training area to provide 65 pieces of gym equipment instead of the current 44.

A ‘Feelgood Factory’ will also be provided which is designed for people just setting out on improving their fitness.

Last year around 30,000 people used the centre after being referred by their GPs as part of health specific programmes. Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: “This proposal is all about tailoring the leisure centre to suit people’s needs.

“We’ve done a great deal of research as to what people want and how they use the centre and it’s clear there is a demand for increased fitness and exercise space.

“By expanding the fitness studio to provide more fitness machines and creating the Feelfood Factory we’re confident we will make the centre even more popular.

“This is a real investment in the centre and the health and fitness of the people of Blackpool which is a key priority.”

The changes involve reducing the existing four-court sports hall to a two-court hall which will still enable sports including table tennis and badminton to be played.

A report to councillors says customer feedback found users “did not like or feel comfortable queuing to use items of equipment” while exercise classes have “waiting lists during peak periods.”

The cash for the improvements will be borrowed over 10 years, but council chiefs estimate the investment will eventually make a surplus of nearly £64,000 a year.

The council’s executive committee is being recommended to approve the scheme when it meets on Monday.

Moor Park, which cost £15m, is one of three leisure centres operated by the council, alongside Palatine in South Shore, and Blackpool Sports Centre at Stanley Park.