Plans announced for new Larkhall Leisure Centre

Published: Tuesday 13 February 2024

external view of Larkhall Leisure Centre

Proposals for a new leisure centre in Larkhall are included in ambitious plans to invest more than £49.5million across our area.

Funding for the project is included in South Lanarkshire Council’s proposed capital programme for 2024-25, though the complexity and scale of the leisure centre means it is not expected to be completed and opened until at least 2027.

Council Leader Joe Fagan said the council was delivering on its pledge to replace Larkhall Leisure Centre, and undertake a number of other projects, even though the funding being received from the Scottish Government was sharply declining.

Councillor Fagan said: “Our capital grant from the government for 2024-25 is down £1.9m compared with 2023-24. That’s a fall of about 9% and it comes on top of real-term cuts we have faced in other areas including our revenue funding.

“That means we can’t be nearly as ambitious as we would like to be when it comes to building and infrastructure projects across South Lanarkshire. But we promised the people of Larkhall that we would replace their ageing leisure centre, and that is what we will do.

“Our capital programme also prioritises extensions to a number of our high schools so we can continue to deliver learning in the best educational facilities in the country.

“Other projects in the coming years will include transportation improvements such as safer walking routes, and we will progress our masterplans for East Kilbride and Hamilton town centres.”

The council had previously identified £11.9m in funding for Larkhall Leisure Centre but a report to be considered by the full Council next Wednesday will note that an additional £12m was likely to be needed to complete the project.

The report proposes this would be funded over the next three years, partly by earmarking funds in future years, and also redirecting funds from projects that are likely to be delayed so spending requirements will change.

Councillors will also discuss the council’s revenue budget for 2024-25 at Wednesday’s meeting, including options to bridge an expected funding gap of £20.57m. They will also be asked to set Council Tax rates for the coming financial year.