Marple Leisure and Community Hub Update, November 2021

Following two phases of public engagement and ongoing discussion with local stakeholders, the Council is developing final proposals for a leisure and community hub in Marple.

We have been amending the original preferred scheme to address some of the specific concerns raised by local residents and stakeholders through the engagement process, including:

  • Access and parking
  • Proximity to neighbouring residential properties
  • Protection of woodland in the park
  • Preference of Marple Senior Citizens Association and 1st Marple Scouts to remain in their current accommodation.

We have explored a number of alternative locations within Marple Memorial Park, which were suggested through the engagement process, but our preferred location remains the site of the current library, with the scheme re-orientated to distance it from residential properties and protect the woodland to the rear of the library.

Alongside this, we have continued to evaluate options for funding a new facility. The Council was given the opportunity to apply for the Government’s Levelling Up Fund and submitted a scheme for Marple Leisure and Community Hub based on the preferred option identified through public engagement, with an expanded health offer. The bid was submitted in June and we were informed in late October that our application had been unsuccessful.

In parallel with submitting the Levelling Up Fund bid, the Council has continued to develop a core scheme focusing on pool, leisure and library offer. We will seek to accommodate other services in the scheme if achievable, but our priority is to seek to provide replacement leisure and library facilities for Marple as quickly as possible.

We acknowledge that this project has taken longer than we would have liked, due the complexities of the preferred site and the aspiration to co-locate a range of community and health facilities within a single scheme. We thank local residents for their patience whilst we develop a final scheme which is affordable and addresses the concerns expressed through the engagement process.

We will bring forward updated proposals for public engagement as soon as possible in 2022 and issue a further update in January 2022.