Royal Borough considers moving Magnet Leisure Centre

Royal Borough considers moving Magnet Leisure Centre

Simon Meechan

Royal Borough considers moving Magnet Leisure Centre
The Magnet Leisure Centre has been in Holmanleaze since 1975
The Magnet could be demolished and a new leisure centre built elsewhere, with the council saying 'it has become the local sports equivalent of the Forth Road Bridge'.

The Royal Borough has been given the go-ahead to transfer management of its four leisure centres - The Magnet, Windsor, Cox Green and Charters - to a private trust.

And although the council will not be running the centres, it will still own them, and as landlord has an interest in their long term futures.

The council says it will take up to £7million to maintain the Magnet, opened in 1975, because of wear and tear issues.

"This is a lot of council taxpayers' money and we need to be absolutely certain that this investment would be the right way forward and provide good value," said the cabinet member for leisure, Cllr Eileen Quick.

Although Cllr Quick said it is 'early days', the council is considering a range of options.

She said: "These could include refurbishing the existing building and even moving the centre to a completely new location where it has room to grow and flourish without the constrictions of its current site."

The Royal Borough's head of leisure services, Kevin Mist, said: "Even the new section is over 20 years old. It's been very, very well used, it gets 750,000 visitors a year piling through it.

"We're just taking the opportunity to have a look at the various options. Which is sensible to do."

Kevin explained that keeping a sports centre in central Maidenhead is a priority.

He said: "The Magnet is convenient for great swathes of people in Maidenhead. That's part of its success. We'd want to achieve a similar level of convenience, so lots of people can carry on using it."

He added that it will take at least five years before any possible move.

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