New leisure centre for Bexhill?

PLANS were floated this week for a near-£18 million pound leisure centre in Bexhill.

A feasibility study will be carried out on a project to build the centre on The Down - where the current Bexhill High School, leisure centre and drill hall presently stand.

The flagship project to replace the leisure centre and the pool at Ravenside was a Rother executive priority for 2016.

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But the building of a new High School at Gunters Lane could allow the scheme to be brought forward.

Yet the plan could face significant hurdles.

Officers are still unsure whether East Sussex County Council wish to retain the land.

Negotiations are still on-going between county and the Ministry of Defence, which owns the drill hall.

Rother also lacks the money to finance the project - estimated at between 14 and 18 million - by itself.

Lottery funding would be unlikely before the 2012 Olympics.

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Capital could come from the relocation of the Ravenside pool, but that could depend on the removal of certain planning conditions.

The news comes in the same week Rother leader Cllr Carl Maynard warned tough budget decisions will need to be made over the coming years.

A forecast report said 1.5 million of savings may have to be found between 2009 and 2012 to keep Rother's council tax increase at the five per cent capping limit set by Government.