Kenilworth sports facilities could be set for overhaul

Castle Farm is one of Kenilworth's sporting facilities that could be improved by Warwick District Council
Castle Farm is one of Kenilworth's sporting facilities that could be improved by Warwick District Council

Sports facilities in Kenilworth could be set for an overhaul as part of a major council project.

Warwick District Council’s executive could agree to focus on improving Kenilworth’s facilities at a meeting on Wednesday February 7 as part of ‘Phase II’ of its Leisure Development Plan.

The focus on Kenilworth comes after the council’s changes to Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre in Leamington and St Nicholas Park Leisure Centre in Warwick.

If the executive agree, the council will start drawing up more detailed plans for Kenilworth before a public consultation takes place in the summer.

A report before the meeting by district council officers stated: “It is recognised that some of the sites impacted by Phase II are highly sensitive.

“Therefore public consultation at an early stage, before any major decisions have been made, is considered essential.

“This next stage will also offer the opportunity for groups such as the Friends of Abbey Fields and the Save our Swimming Pool (sic) group to build on their initial views on what should be included in the Phase II project and comment on the proposals and options.”

In Abbey Fields, the council will focus on improving the two swimming pools, tennis courts, play areas, parking, possible cycle routes, and potentially adding new facilities.

Swimming facilities in Abbey Fields could be expanded to have a teaching pool, and a smaller outdoor 'fun pool' or 'splash park'.

There are also suggestions to expand the cafe, to create more indoor space which could be used for several activities, and to move the current public toilets into the new building.

Jane Green of Save our Outdoor Pool, a campaign group set up over fears that Abbey Fields’ outdoor pool may be scrapped, said she was ‘cautiously optmistic’ upon reading the report.

She said: “The report is pretty good, actually. A lot of our suggestions have been taken on board.

“Now we’ve got to keep up the momentum.”

And at Castle Farm Recreation centre and its fields, the council will look at improving whole area including the leisure centre, petanque area, skateboard ramp, play area, football pitches, Scouts area, and the car park.

This will fit alongside the planned move to the site by Kenilworth Wardens, who are moving to make way for housing as part of Warwick district’s Local Plan.

The club hopes to make a planning application for the move in early 2019, with construction starting in the same year, and the actual move to take place in 2021.

It is also hoped the Scouts currently based at Castle Farm can be moved to a new site.

Sporting provision for the community at Kenilworth School’s new site off Glasshouse Lane could also be expanded from what it currently has.

The council has also said it will work with local clubs to develop provision for football, tennis and hockey in Kenilworth.