A NEW leisure centre will cost nearly £1m more than had been planned – but further works have still been approved.

The new Carterton Leisure Centre has already been agreed and been given planning permission, but at the start of 2017, West Oxfordshire District Council believed it would cost £7.36m. It will now cost £8.27m.

For that, users will get new changing rooms, a four-court badminton sports hall and an indoor ‘extreme zone’ trampoline park.

Oxford Mail:

The authority insisted that the real cost increase to taxpayers would not be as great as that and that it would only result in a rise of 1.18 per cent – about £87,000.

In May 2017, the council gave the management contract for sports and leisure facilities to GLL Better – and the firm will run the centre.

Since then the company has appointed designers to develop plans, gather people’s opinions on the project and secure planning permission. That was granted by the council’s lowland area planning sub-committee on May 21.

The council keeps abreast of the project through liaison group meetings which have been attended by the cabinet member responsible, Jeanette Baker.

She said: “This is the next step towards creating a superb facility for Carterton which will really have something for everyone and I expect to see a big rise in people using the centre.

“There has been a lot of interest from residents and I know they will be excited to see work starting soon.”

GLL Better has worked since December 2017 to find a builder – and on Wednesday the council appointed Buckingham Group to undertake the work.

Council papers find that contractors that had submitted the two lowest tenders for the work had been invited for an interview by officers.

Carterton Leisure Centre was first opened in 2003 as part of the Shilton Park development. It had been built with the hope of extending it to allow further development.

As part of its contract with WODC, GLL Better manages Carterton Leisure Centre, along with Bartholomew Sports Centre in Eynsham, Carterton ATP and Carterton Pavilion.

It is also in charge of Chipping Norton Leisure Centre, Windrush Leisure Centre in Witney, Witney Artificial Turf Pitch and Woodstock Open Air Pool.

GLL said it is the largest charitable social enterprise providing leisure, health and community services across the country.

It operates 258 sports and leisure facilities, 88 libraries, 10 children’s centre and five adventure playgrounds. In doing so, it works for 50 local councils, other public agencies and sporting organisations.