CONSTRUCTION of the new Selby Leisure Centre is set to begin next month, it has been confirmed.

The new centre will be built on the site of the former Abbey Leisure Centre in Scott Road, and is expected to cost about £6 million – a lower figure than the £9 million originally estimated.

Selby District Council is part-funding the new project using insurance money paid after the Abbey Leisure Centre was destroyed by fire in February 2012, with help from a £2m Sports England lottery grant.

The replacement centre will be built by Wates Construction after it was announced this week they had won the contract.

The new facilities will include a six-lane 25-metre competition swimming pool and a learner pool, a studio gym, sauna and steam rooms. An outside all-weather sports pitch will also be built behind the new centre.

Council leader Mark Crane said: “We are delighted to see the new leisure centre begin to take shape and the boost for the district in terms of local tradiing and employment opportunities provided by Wates is an added bonus.”

David Price, business unit director for Wates Construction, Yorkshire, said he was delighted it had been appointed to deliver the new Abbey Leisure Centre.

He said: “We have an excellent site team in place that will work in partnership with Selby District Council to ensure the new facility fulfills their vision for a state-of-the art leisure centre.”

The fire which destroyed the Abbey Leisure Centre was believed to have started in the steam room.

The council approved the plans to build the entirely new facility last year, and it is expected to be finished by January 2015.