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Work Starts On Hough End Leisure Centre

New leisure centre open by spring 2015 - but is there an elephant in the pool?

Published on April 9th 2014.

Work Starts On Hough End Leisure Centre

A CEREMONY welcoming the start of work on a new high-quality leisure centre for Hough End playing fields, between Chorlton and Withington, will take place on Thursday 10 April at midday.

"Manchester is renowned as a world class sporting city and this new resource will sit along side our elite facilities bringing a top class leisure centre to residents"

The new leisure centre, 300 metres from Withington Metrolink station, will feature a six-lane swimming pool, a learner pool, a 'state-of-the-art' gym, two squash courts, a sauna, a steam room, a community room and a dance studio.

It is hoped that the existing football pitches and outdoor changing facilities at Hough End will be improved upon as part of the future development of the site.

The project, set to open in spring 2015, is one of three such leisure centres planned for Manchester, along with developments for both Levenshulme and Beswick.


Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council executive member, said: “A phenomenal amount of hard work and planning has gone into this project so it is a real milestone to see work begin on the brand new leisure centre.

“Manchester is renowned as a world class sporting city and this new resource will sit along side our elite facilities bringing a top class leisure centre to residents that I’m sure will be cherished and well used for years to come.

“In what has undoubtedly been a tough economic time I am proud that we are not only able to create this leisure centre at Hough End but also brand new facilities in both Levenshulme and Beswick.”

This is all good news but there is an elephant in the pool.

Hough End Leisure Centre marks the beginning of the end for Chorlton and Withington Leisure Centres. These are both creaky and flaking and desperately in need of renovation so upgrading to Hough End seems a no-brainer.

Problem is the new facility is inconveniently away from the centres of either of these suburbs, indeed, for a city location is in a low population area with vast sports fields on one side and the 350,000 dead of Southern Cemetery on the other - the latter folk all way past needing to work on their abs. 

True, the tram station is fairly near but it will be interesting to see whether overall visitors go up or down from Chorlton and Withington residents to their new leisure centre compared with their old centres.

Of course, commuters along Princess Parkway may benefit if they feel the need for a fitness break. 

The ceremony will take place at Hough End, Princess Road Entrance, at 12pm on Thursday 10 April.

Opening times: They're proposing 6.30am to 10pm weekdays and 9am to 5pm weekends.

Prices and membership: Prices will stay in line with those at Chorlton and Withington leisure centres and members can transfer their memberships to the new centre when it opens.

For more information or to view the plans online click here.

Floor plansFloor plans

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

SquirrelitoApril 10th 2014.

Everytime I hear a yet another councillor rattling out the flogged to death "World Class" again, experience makes me picture something decidedly second rate (like the King Street lights or Gangnam Style / Billie Jean). Shame.

David OwensApril 10th 2014.

Chorlton centre may be old and flakey but at least its in Chorlton. This new one is not handy for either Chorlton or Withington residents

AnonymousApril 10th 2014.

Shame the fitness suite looks smaller than at Withington, and half the size of the combined sites. Looks like whoever designed this has never tried to use either centre at peak times, where you already queue to use the suite.

James SmithApril 10th 2014.

Take it that the decision to close chorlton and withington baths has been made then. Another triumph for manchester democracy.

James SmithApril 10th 2014.

What will happen to withington and chorlton centres? Will they be given to the community if a viable business plan can be presented? Can anybody ask that question? Of course they wont. They will be demolished. The hypocrisy of labour councils is astonishing. Pap on about thatcher for 30 years later and yet happily do the equivalent or worse themselves.

AnonymousApril 11th 2014.

Manchester council decides to do something and then it does it, irrespective of public consultation, opinion or sensitivities. That is because it knows best. So shut up.

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