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Baths in the swim

Reporter: Beatriz Ayala
Date online: 26 September 2011

A REVAMPED Oldham Sports Centre and a new pool and gym in Royton are planned as part of a major shake-up of leisure provision.

The new Royton facility will replace Crompton Baths and Royton Sports Centre, while Oldham Sports Centre could be refurbished or replaced.

Oldham Council has started consultation on the proposals, designed to improve the quality of leisure services on offer to residents.

The borough’s sports and leisure facilities are run by Oldham Community Leisure (OCL) on behalf of the council.

The current contract is set to end and a new deal for the management of the “leisure estate” would come in at the start of 2013.

A range of bids are expected from trusts, experienced private sector operators — and from the current operator.

The new leisure proposals have been drawn up with advice from Sport England and are designed to:

::Develop exciting yet efficient leisure facilities that deliver revenue and savings and offers taxpayers excellent value for money.

::Ensure access for communities and organised groups in facilities run with residents’ interests and needs in mind.

::Maximise community use of the excellent sports amenities in the new Academy and Building Schools for the Future (BSF) facilities.

::Encourage participation for all residents in leisure and activities to improve health and wellbeing.

::Contribute to the regeneration of Oldham and Royton centres.

Councillor Hugh McDonald, Cabinet member for leisure and culture, said the proposals represented an exciting vision for the future of leisure services across the borough.

He said: “These have been drawn up following a comprehensive review of our existing facilities and provision, and analysis of what we will actually need to offer in the future to adapt to changing trends in sports and leisure, and residents’ needs and aspirations.

“It is very clear that some of our current leisure estate is simply not fit for purpose. It would be wrong for us to continue investing in facilities that are of sub-standard quality and a drain on resources because they are also under-used and need a high subsidy.”

He said Oldham Council had already made significant investments in new centres at Saddleworth and Chadderton, and the new MAHDLO youth zone.

He added that the council aimed to use savings generated through the new leisure contract, plus the reduced council subsidy to a new operator, to reinvest in replacement facilities.

He said: “That’s why these proposals include plans to refurbish or replace Oldham Sports Centre with a new ‘hub’ facility that will attract people into the town centre.

“The public consultation on this will run until mid-November and no final decisions have yet been made.

“We are very keen to hear from all residents and stakeholders to ensure that the final proposals fully reflect their views.”

Following the consultation exercise, the final plans will return to Cabinet in December before a procurement exercise is launched to find the best operator to deliver these services in future.

An interactive map of the plans is available on the Oldham Council website from today.


Close or transfer

Royton Sports Centre. Close and replace with new centre at Royton & Crompton School or in Royton centre.

Crompton Pool and Fitness Centre. Close and replace with new centre at Royton & Crompton School or in Royton centre.

Glodwick Leisure Pool. Close or consider transfer as going concern or community asset.

Breeze Hill Pool. Close and transfer users to other pools (Waterhead Academy moves in October, 2012).

Breeze Hill artificial pitch. Remain closed but new Waterhead Academy has synthetic pitch for community use.

Grange Sports Centre. Close (managed by Oldham Academy North which moves in April, 2013).

Grange synthetic pitch. Close or transfer to Oldham College.

Oasis Academy. Kaskenmoor school-based facilities close in summer, 2012. Ball hall future operations under discussion.

Retain or improve

Oldham Sports Centre. Refurbish or replace with more efficient facility in town centre.

New pool and sports centre at Royton and Crompton School or in Royton centre. New facility, managed by operator.

Saddleworth Pool and Fitness Centre. Retain.

Royton and Crompton synthetic pitch (at Royton and Crompton School). Retain.

Bishop’s Park pitch and putt golf. Under consideration (part held in trust).

Chadderton Health and Wellbeing Centre. Retain.

Radclyffe Athletics Centre. Retain or transfer to Radclyffe School.

Failsworth Sports Centre. Retain with sand-based pitch and tennis courts potentially transferred to Failsworth School.

Chapel Road synthetic pitch. Potential transfer to Oldham Athletic Community Trust with Oasis Academy Oldham community use.

Waterhead Academy, Counthill. Playing fields and sports building to be retained and leased to Waterhead Academy.


possibly too late.
with the recent shake ups in opening times at the sports centres. quite a few regular subscribing member have either left or moved elsewhere because of this.

its daft when you pay for a peak hours membership but then they cut the peak opening times. no wonder they're leaving.

that money is not coming in to ocl anymore. soon they'll be struggling. maybe its about time for a change in management.

Without doubt, Oldham Sports Centre must be replaced. To refurbish would merely be delaying the inevitable. What is the point in creating a town centre fit for the twenty-first century, all gleaming modernity, if its recreational hub is barely fit for the twentieth?

Breeze hill all weather pitches are really well used! Anyone comming down from Lydgate can see the floodlights (every night?) The closure of a facility like this will be a greivous blow to the area, and does not help the East side of Oldham which is devoid of sports facilities.
Breeze Hill should have been developed as a site for sports & leisure, with a pool & sports hall, it wouldn't cost a great deal, but then that's common sense so it's got no chance of happening. We need a £billion centre!

Was a pool & gym not part of the original plan at royton when the library & health centre were built, as in chadderton.

Seems like Shaw has now become the poor relation to Royton. Not only has Royton just had a new Health Centre built whilst Shaw has had to make do with it's dingy and dated facilities. Now Crompton Baths are to close whilst new Baths are to be built in Royton.

its bad enough now trying to take my grandaughter swimming and not being able to due to swimming lessons if crompton pool closes will all roytons sessions be taken over by lessons its coming up to winter i do not want to be taking her swimming after 6 at night when she should be indoors in the warmth,we have tried lessons but has panic attacks when she has to wear the swim hat that is required,the pools seem to be just for lessons as thats what pays now it is so expensive now to go swimming.

The Swiming Baths on Union street lasted 100 years these last 30.... Somthing to be said there..

Any replacement for the pool & gym in Shaw should stay in Shaw.

Quite simple....new swimming pools are needed for both Crompton and Royton BUT the council will shut the old builds before the new one is built which is unacceptable. Travelling 30mins in metrolink traffic to Oldham Sports Centre just doesn't cut it! Completely unacceptable to close Royton & Crompton until new one built and hope you will join me in emailing the future leisure email address on council website in sharing my views!.....

.....also the closure of Glodwick Pool is unrealistic. I've seen on the adult only swims at dinner time how precious that pool space is to the disabled users and young children. Many a pool party had there and I know it will be a massive loss to families across the borough who will no longer be able to take the children of the future to such a family orientated pool. As said in previous post please email the council with your views and hopefully a voice will be heard.

@ fedupoldhamer - peak members, like myself, can use the facilities at all tiomes of day, whether peak hours or off peak. It's the offpeak members that are limited to when they can visit, usually during the day only and not at weekends.

I do appreciate that the opening hours have been cut, but I do know the gym now closes at 9pm instead of 10pm. Let's put it into context, I can't imagine many people would be there after 9pm anyway...

The Royton & Crompton synthetic pitch is already operating in excess of the opening hours agreed by the local planning authority. In addition litter clearance and landscaping maintenance have not been carried out as agreed. On this basis it is difficult to see how any further development could be agreed for this site which unlike the facilities to be replaced is in a residential area.

i wasnt an occasional user too. i went swimming monday to friday every week. plus gym and occasional exercise class.
in recent months they cut back on everything. gym and pool opening times. number of classes etc.

now with the pool and gym on average the pool session 9 till 10 had around 25 people using it. all there to exercise as it was convenient for our daily lifestyles.
when i asked ocl they'd cut it because it was not being used by paying customers, they didnt think of us paying members.

I hope the final running costs are calculated properly. When they did the Chadderton all in one centre someone badly got the maths wrong.

I think that this is yet another crazy idea by OMBC. Crompton Pool is well-used and easily accessible. Presumably any use of a facility at the School would be outside normal school hours? Also it is not easily accessible for people reliant on public transport. And why should residents in Shaw have to travel to Royton? Our 'Town Hall' is now there and we share a Vicar with them - what next?

in reply to jocrad.
Peak is £296. off peak is £220.
off peak is 7am till 4pm monday to friday and all weekend.
premium price should mean premium service.

i work all day and finish approx 6pm? then i go home for tea. so by the time i've eaten and let my food digest i'm ready to do some exercise its about 8.30pm.
so time for the gym and a swim!
oh! sorry i can't do that now! it closes at 9pm

thats why i now pay a little bit more for a gym that stays open till 10pm.
but thats ocl's loss.

@fedupoldhamer, likewise myself, I work full time - I go to the gym on the way home from work and eat later. Now, I know that might not suit everybody, but from what I understand from the staff I speak to in the gym, it was never really that busy after 9pm. Decisions were made to cut back on the hours as it wasn't cost effective.

no i agree the gym did die down after 9pm. but alot of those gym users then went on to swim. the 9pm till 10pm swim session was always busy. i have swam in that session for over a decade. its never been quiet.

now they cutback on opening times, will prices get cut?

im glad the cuts happened when they did. i only had a month left on my annual membership. so i didnt get short changed that much.

ocl should change their slogan to "less active, less often" as thats the case with them now.


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