Chelmsford City Council is drafting plans to upgrade Dovedale Sports Centre in the Old Moulsham area of the city. The council is keen to hear local views about this and has just launched a consultation. The site, which the council shares with Chelmsford College, was opened in 1974 and has had minimal investment over the last few decades.

Dovedale used by public during weekends and holidays

Dovedale is used by the college during the day and managed by Chelmsford City Council for public use after 5pm on weekdays, with full access at weekends and college holidays. Its facilities include a multi-purpose sports hall, a small fitness room, an exercise studio and 3 squash courts.  Although the centre is dated, it remains popular with Chelmsford residents with around 70,000 customer visits a year. The upgrade is intended to improve Dovedale within the footprint of the existing building.

Chelmsford City Council Cabinet Member, Cllr Rose Moore, says this investment is overdue.

“Dovedale is popular and well-used but really needs refurbishment to improve provision for existing customers, and increase its appeal to attract new users. In this challenging financial period, major structural changes to the building wouldn’t be appropriate, but there’s lots of potential to transform this facility with our partner Chelmsford College to give this well-located leisure centre a whole new lease of life.”

Cllr Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford

Dovedale consultation runs for 5 weeks

The consultation to help shape any future improvements to Dovedale Sports Centre runs until Sunday February 13. Anyone can take part, whether they use the facility or not, and the council and college are keen to hear how the building might best serve the Chelmsford community. Jon Lyons, the council’s manager with responsibility for leisure says it’s a great opportunity to have an influence on Dovedale’s future.

“The survey only takes 10 minutes to complete, and it will give us vital information about how you’d like the centre to develop. We’d love to hear from clubs and community groups as well as individuals so that as many views as possible are represented if these plans go ahead. There may also be scope for some public daytime use at Dovedale if the centre is refurbished and it would be great to know whether this might benefit you.”

Jon Lyons, Leisure and Heritage Services Manager

There’s plenty of time to take part in the consultation if you haven’t already done so and any feedback will be treated confidentially. The investment for these facilities is in the draft budget for the City Council and needs to be approved at the end of February.


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