A large area of Radcliffe town centre is set to be demolished to make way for a new civic hub building containing a swimming pools, a leisure centre, café and library. A planning application for the long awaited plans for the partial redevelopment of the town centre was published by Bury Council on Friday.
The shopping plaza at 13-21 Blackburn Street and the TSB bank building would be demolished as part of the plans. The plans also include refurbishment of the Market Chambers building and the next door Market Hall basement, for use as a multi-use event space. Much of the money for the development has come from the award of £20m to the project from the Levelling Up fund in early 2022. The new three-storey civic hub building will be built between Dale Street and Radcliffe Market.
A design and access statement with the plans said: “The new hub forms part of a holistic review and regeneration of leisure facilities and sporting provision across Radcliffe. As well as replacing the existing leisure centre off Spring Lane, the centre will provide other complimentary activities and council services which will help educate and promote health and well-being within the area in an enjoyable, fun and dynamic environment.
“The civic hub is not a traditional leisure centre, it will have other facilities including a Clip ‘n Climb, library and other community spaces for local residents.”
There will be two swimming pools at in the centre, a 25m, six-lane main pool and 17m x 10m learner pool. The pools will have an integrated moveable floor designed to Sport England specification and 150 spectator seats.
The plans describe a ‘fully accessible wet side unisex changing village with a Changing Places changing room facility’. Other leisure equipment includes a 100 station fitness suite, two exercise studios and dedicated dry side male and female changing. There will be a large roof top activity space, central public space containing concierge reception, a catering servery and a library.
The statement added: “The layout has been designed with flexibility in use as one of its key drivers.
“The spaces contained within have been designed in such a way that they are none-prohibitive to their use for a multitude of activities. Flexible spaces, adaptive fixtures and shared use areas have been incorporated to allow the building to grow and adapt to its customers and the uses which best serve the surrounding area.
“At the heart of the centre will be a multi-purpose social space that shares several uses. The main space will allow the preconceived idea of a library, café, pool viewing and reception to be challenged and open up the area into one vibrant and engaging space where people can enjoy views of the activities going on within the centres key spaces.
“Visitors will enter the building to find other customers enjoying the space while also being able to see exactly what is available to them. The second floor contains meeting rooms which can be used for different functions and a prayer room can be enjoyed by both staff and public alike.”
Also included in the plans is a link block building between the market chambers and the market hall with similar design features to the main hub building. The application will now be considered by the planning committee of the council at a date to be confirmed.