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Gloucestershire Business News

Bid to get leisure project back on track

Forest of Dean District Council officers continue to liaise with the council's contractor BAM and design and cost specialists to review the approved refurbishment and construction of a new community leisure facility at Five Acres.

Cllr Johnathan Lane, cabinet member for the Five Acres project, said: "We are working hard with partners to review design options for Five Acres to ensure that we deliver the best possible facility for the community in a financially sustainable manner.

"We will be continuing these discussions over the coming weeks and meeting with Government officers to ensure we have the necessary approvals needed to extend the project and make any changes to the proposed outputs.

"We want to assure residents that we are committed to delivering a fantastic facility at Five Acres that can be used by residents of all ages. It is important for all that it is delivered within budget and that is what we are working hard on to get the project successfully back on track."

Once fully funded designs have been agreed, the council will update residents on the anticipated start of the construction on site and what the scheme will deliver.

The project's review comes after costs rose substantially since the council was successful in its Levelling Up Fund bid. This was because of rising global costs of materials and the impact of high inflation.

The site's development is currently phased with the renovation and conversion of the Speedwell building and the construction of the Sports Hall in Phase 1, with Phase 2 focusing on the construction of the 3G pitch and changing facilities.

To support the development of the 3G pitch and changing facility, Forest of Dean District Council is working with the Football Foundation and Football Association to prepare a funding application that will be submitted in October 2024 and determined in January 2025. .

At the same time, the council continues to work with West Dean Parish Council to develop the Five Acres playing fields. It is planned that the southern half of the existing grass pitches will be developed to create the 3G pitch that will be suitable for rugby and football use all year round.

The 3G pitch will be subject to a separate planning application that will be submitted this summer.

Forest of Dean District Council will provide updates and communications during the review process and will continue to work with all parties, including the residents of the Forest of Dean to ensure that this project is delivered successfully.

Full details for the Five Acres site redevelopment, as well as documents including designs, and comments and questions from previous public forum events can be found here 

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