COWDENBEATH Leisure Centre will close in April next year for 14 months as part of £8 million refurbishment plans.

The library on High Street will also shut and relocate into the improved and redeveloped facility in the Autumn of 2025.

Fife Council have set aside £7.8m for the project and there's £250,000 from the education and children's services for the relocation of the library.

A report by Paul Vaughan, the head of the communities and neighbourhoods service, said: "The current facility is run down, requires regular maintenance and health and safety upgrades.

"The gym space is not fit for purpose for the demand locally and complementary, studio-based activities are currently delivered from meeting room spaces."

Central Fife Times: Swimming lessons will be offered at Burntisland, Bowhill or Lochgelly when the Cowdenbeath pool closes.Swimming lessons will be offered at Burntisland, Bowhill or Lochgelly when the Cowdenbeath pool closes. (Image: Fife Sports and Leisure Trust)

He added: "The integration of the Early Years provision into the dry side facilities has placed pressure on the programming demands on the rest of the facility.

"The current position in regards revenue costs and repair / maintenance liability for the existing assets (Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre and Cowdenbeath Library) will be unsustainable within the short to medium term, particularly given the financial position and reducing budgets within the council."

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The aim is to attract new customers, at both the leisure centre and the library, and save money by refurbishing and enhancing the 'dry side' facilities while the 'wet side' facilities require "essential maintenance" and a new dedicated changing places unit.

Councillors will be told at Thursday's cabinet committee that the work on site is scheduled to start in April 2024 and it should be completed by the Autumn of 2025, at which time the library will relocate.

The final costs should be available at the end of the year with the council admitting there's a risk the bill could be higher due to rising construction costs.

The gym will be increased in size with a new dedicated fitness / aerobic studio space for group activity and a "flexible space" will be created to accommodate a new library.

Central Fife Times: Fife Council's cabinet committee is expected to approve the plans on Thursday.Fife Council's cabinet committee is expected to approve the plans on Thursday. (Image: Newsquest)

There will be "significant works" carried out to replace the sauna and steam room and refurbish the wet side changing area.

Work to replace the sports hall floor, which had deteriorated due to flooding, was brought forward and the three outdoor five-a-side astroturf pitches will be replaced with one larger synthetic pitch to "attract a wider range of football development activity".

Planned maintenance works at the centre will be timed to coincide with the closure and external improvements will make the centre "more appealing".

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Mr Vaughan said: "The aim of this project is to preserve the facility by refurbishing it to reduce the need for further maintenance closures whilst, at the same time, enhance areas to increase customer throughput and co-locate the library into the leisure centre.

"The project will have a transformational impact to the local neighbourhood and provide a facility which is welcoming and inclusive to all and provide integrated services of leisure and cultural spaces."

With the closure of the Cowdenbeath pool, swimming lessons will be offered at the Beacon leisure centre in Burntisland, Bowhill Leisure Centre or Lochgelly High School community use.

Sports hall bookings will be "moved to other facilities".

The committee will be asked to approve the business case and the integration of the library into the leisure centre.

The Fife Sports and Leisure Trust has operated Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre since 2008 and there are around 150,000 'visits' each year.

Mr Vaughan added: "The programme of works is scheduled for April 2024 which will require a full closure of the facility for approximately 14 months, which will impact on the trust's operational budget due to loss of income.

"Alternative venues are being explored to accommodate the existing programmes."