Plans for a new swimming pool at Ivybridge Leisure Centre have been unveiled this week, generating much excitement in the town.

The multi-million pound investment announced by Fusion Lifestyle and South Hams District Council includes a whole raft of investment in the centre.

The centre is set to have a major makeover, with plans showcasing a much anticipated new six-lane swimming pool with a sun deck, a state-of-the-art retractable roof over the pool, an extended spin studio and café, as well as considerable refurbishments to the fitness gym, studio and squash courts. Subject to planning permission, the work is due to start early 2018 and will take just over a year to complete.

District councillor for Ivybridge West, Michael Saltern said: “I’m absolutely delighted. It’s been a long-hard trek to get this new facility for the town. Ivybridge’s economy has been badly affected by a number of things, such as the closure of banks in recent years. We need something to give the town a boost, and this is a major step forward. This new pool will meet the aims and ambitions of amateur swimming enthusiasts.”

Town clerk Lesley Hughes said: “We’re so delighted with these plans. To have a proper swimming pool in the town is fantastic news. Hopefully everyone will support this and it will encourage more people to visit the town. It’s a long-held dream! This is exciting news.”

Pat White, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce said: “I think these plans are absolutely fabulous. It’s lovely we’ll have something which will be a great asset for Ivybridge when it’s completed. I think it’s going to be wonderful, and with the retractable roof as well, it’s going to be something special. It’s nice that Fusion and SHDC have the confidence to invest in Ivybridge.”

The plans, announced in partnership with South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council, marks the start of a three-year programme of proposed works to significantly improve and modernise local sports and leisure facilities across the county.

As well as Ivybridge, leisure centres set to be significantly improved include Meadowlands Leisure Centre in Tavistock, Dartmouth Leisure Centre, Quayside Leisure Centre in Kingsbridge and Parklands Leisure Centre in Okehampton.

The two local authorities have put forward £8m of funding, after agreeing a 25-year contract with Fusion last year. The funding will enable Fusion Lifestyle to kick-start their improvement programme and will be paid back over the course of the contract.

The improvement plans will be on display at Ivybridge Leisure Centre until Monday, September 18. During this time, members of the public can view the drawings and provide their feedback on the proposed changes before Fusion Lifestyle applies for planning permission.

Members of the Fusion planning and management teams will also be available at drop-in sessions, to explain more and answer any questions about the major works set to take place.

Cllr Hilary Bastone, executive portfolio holder for customer first at South Hams District Council said: “It is essential for us that we get top notch leisure facilities that can benefit the whole community. When we offered the contract to Fusion we knew that we were putting that leisure provision in good hands and we are delighted to see work start on what we know will be an excellent offering.”

Anthony Cawley, operations director at Fusion Lifestyle said: “We have made a commitment to nurture these sports and leisure facilities in Devon, and this includes making a serious investment in their improvement and upkeep. Our plans for all the centres have been designed to improve the experience for our members and the public, providing them with better and bigger facilities.

“It is a privilege to be involved in the running of these incredibly popular and important sites across Devon, and it is our role to ensure that they continue to serve the community for years to come, whether that’s providing a major new addition to the site, or refurbishing much-loved tired facilities.

“The improvement plans will be on show at each of the centres, and we hope that the public take the opportunity to come and view these; we are excited to hear their thoughts. As an independent charity, we invest heavily in creating, restoring and transforming local facilities, and we believe communities in Devon will really benefit from what we are proposing.”

For more information about Fusion, visit