KNUTSFORD Leisure Centre's future looks to be secure.

Cheshire East Council has unveiled fresh proposals for leisure services across the borough as it looks to make savings of £1.3 million.

It had previously been reported that several sites, including Knutsford, were under threat of closure due to budget constraints.

However, new plans suggest none will close, with improvements being made to several sites. 

Chairman of the environment and communities committee, Cllr Mick Warren, said: “The council receives no permanent income stream from leisure services.

“But the council is responsible for paying building maintenance and utilities costs – which are rising drastically – and it also invests in leisure services through the payment of an annual management fee.

“We must now look at how we can do things differently and focus the budget we do have available to us on where it will have the biggest impact, for the most people.

“The proposals we are putting forward will ensure that leisure services can become more financially sustainable for the medium to longer-term, and that we can also continue to provide leisure centres that are modern and well-equipped.”

Knutsford Guardian: Knutsford Leisure CentreKnutsford Leisure Centre (Image: Knutsford Town Council)


A six-week consultation was launched in November last year, to get people’s views on the future of leisure services in Cheshire East.

In total, there were 2,769 responses to the survey as well as 522 social media engagements, 403 responses via letter or email, and 34 attendees at consultation events.

"Large volumes of responses were received from consultees in Poynton, Knutsford and Middlewich, it is clear that these communities came together to oppose perceived threats to their leisure services," read the report.

A report has been put together based on these responses while also considering the need to secure an increased savings target in leisure services of £1.3 million in 2024/25, as approved in the council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy 2024-2028 earlier this week.

While the report doesn't suggest any sites will close, it does recommend the 'asset disposal' of the Homes Chapel and Middlewich centres.

This would mean the two high schools which currently have joint use of the sites could develop new ways of operating them.

Celebrating the news that Knutsford Leisure Centre will remain open, a spokesperson for Knutsford Amateur Swimming Club said: "We now know that following consultation the leisure centre and pool are here to stay!

"Thank you to all of you for your countless emails and consultation responses to the council.

"The community support and the support of other sports clubs has been phenomenal in petitioning with us to keep our pool open.

"Finally we can all now take a breath and focus on what we do best – swimming!"

Knutsford Guardian: Holmes Chapel Leisure CentreHolmes Chapel Leisure Centre (Image: Supplied)

Other proposals include new ‘top up’ funding arrangements and increasing prices.

For example, the concessionary membership scheme discount could be reduced from 25 per cent to 20 per cent and would only be available to Cheshire East residents.

There are also plans for improvement works at the most popular centres, such as Wilmslow which could see £500,000 spent on new changing facilities.

Cheshire East Council’s environment and communities committee will discuss the report at a meeting on March 11.