Flagship health and wellbeing centre could replace facilities in Wonford

Plans for a flagship Health and Wellbeing Centre to replace the existing Wonford Sports and Community Centres are set to move forward.

Exeter City Council’s executive, when they meet next Tuesday, are recommended to grant approval for progressing to the outline business case for the scheme.

The new Health & Wellbeing Centre is set to include a new sports centre, an exercise space, community kitchen facilities, the relocation of the Wonford Green GP Practice, playing pitches, and see the inclusion of Wonford Village in the Liveable Exeter Garden City Programme.

Jo Yelland, Director, in her report, says: “The aim is to co-design a facility that will be a positive focal point in the community and help to promote access to, and participation in, community based health and wellbeing activities and services provided at the site.

“Ideally the redevelopment will better connect with the green space behind the current building and better meet the needs of the local community.”

The new Health & Wellbeing Centre could include

  • Re-provision of a sports hall, group exercise space and fitness, of at least four courts, and to be delivered as flexible spaces to allow different activities and classes to be delivered, including health related programmes.
  • A Group exercise space and fitness, with 40 stations in a gym, as well as a studio and a spin studio
  • A Flexible Community Space to be available for hire to local groups and businesses, can also be used for health consultations and one to one sessions
  • Community kitchen facilities – suitable for hire by community groups for sports and non-sporting activities, can be used to deliver health initiatives and programme
  • Soft play provision for early year’s children which would be supported by the catering offer.
  • There is the opportunity to develop new recreational cycling activities and an all ability cycling hub – to be developed further with the local community.
  • Retain existing and refresh (if required) Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) Reconfigure and enhance pitches and pavilion facilities for multi club use
  • Virtual climbing and trampolining
  • Interactive cardio exercises classes using the best of technology to provide alternative ways of using fitness equipment
  • An outdoor adventure tower.
  • Primary care centre in partnership with the local NHS
  • Flexible community spaces linking indoor and outdoor spaces to promote healthy, active lifestyles such as community kitchen, gardens, allotments, etc.
  • Potentially be part of a housing mix

Wonford plans

The redevelopment scheme is part of the Exeter Live Better and Move More Physical Activity Strategy, and the Exeter Live Better and Move More Built Facilities, Playing Fields, Pitches, Play Areas, Parks and Green Spaces Strategy that the council adopted earlier this year.

The report confirms the Wonford Green GP Practice partners’ desire and interest in potentially relocating from their existing premises to a new facility as part of an integrated Health and Wellbeing Centre.

Mrs Yelland added: “It is proposed to move onto the next stage in the process based on the positive feedback received to date. The next stage is the completion of a Design Brief by July 2020. This stage will build on the on-going community engagement with the development of ideas into indicative sketches, layouts, designs and building and running costs and further work with the Wonford Green Surgery partner and NHS England.

“The delivery of the new Health and Wellbeing Centre is of vital importance to the community and it is important project momentum is maintained. Therefore it is proposed to include Wonford Village within the Liveable Exeter Programme so that further parallel work can be undertaken during the next stage of the project and if relevant the design brief and facility mix can be expanded to include these other aspects.”

She said that early consultation has showed that there is enthusiasm for providing new spaces including a café, gardens or allotments, a performance space, a library, a bigger kitchen, and spaces for physical and mental health provision.

The executive are recommended to give approval to her tor for progressing the outline business case for a new Health and Wellbeing Centre in Wonford to the design stage.

It is recommended that the Executive endorse the inclusion of Wonford Village in the Liveable Exeter Garden City Programme.

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