04:47AM, Tuesday 17 December 2013
A popular leisure centre which attracts more than 750,000 visitors a year could be demolished and moved to a new location in Maidenhead.
The Royal Borough has said it will cost up to £7million to maintain the Magnet Leisure Centre and has compared it to the Forth Road Bridge due to constant ‘wear and tear’ issues.
Cllr Eileen Quick, cabinet member for leisure, said: “Over the next few months we will be examining a range of options for making the Magnet even better.
“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 and where there is easy access for everyone.”
The centre was first opened in Holmaleaze in 1975 and includes a gym, sports hall, swimming pool as well as a new sauna and spa which are set to open in 2013.
The Royal Borough has been given the go-ahead to privatise management of its four leisure centres - The Magnet, Windsor, Cox Green and Charters - with the council hoping for a non-profit trust.
It expects this process to be completed next year.
Although the borough will not be running the centres, it will still own them and has an interest in their long term futures.
The Royal Borough's head of leisure services, Kevin Mist, said: "We're just taking the opportunity to have a look at the various options. Which is sensible to do."
Kevin added 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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Police raided addresses in Lillibrooke Crescent, Cox Green, and in Crown Lane, Farnham Royal, at about 7.15am.