COUNCILLORS have given their backing to the first stage of a £6-million revamp of a “dated” leisure centre, which shares a site with a multi-million-pound new school.

Monmouthshire council’s cabinet has approved spending £127,598 on a feasibility study into a major refurbishment of Caldicot Leisure Centre.

Work on the rebuild could start by the middle of next year, the cabinet meeting was told on Wednesday.

The plans include a new viewing area for the centre’s 20-metre swimming pool, new soft play and spa facilities and new changing rooms.

The cafe could be moved downstairs to improve accessibility, while outside changing facilities for the centre’s 3G pitch could also be introduced.

Cllr Richard John, cabinet member for children, young people and Mon Life, said the new state-of-the-art Caldicot School had made the leisure centre look like “the poor relation”.

“Given the significant investment we have made in the 21st-century school next door we feel we ought to upgrade the leisure centre to complement that education, health and wellbeing campus,” Cllr John said.

An initial study has estimated the costs at between £5.5 million and £6 million.

But the council believes the project could deliver “a sustainable return on investment” through increased membership.

Membership at Monmouth Leisure Centre is said to have trebled since a £7.4-million revamp of facilities.

Cllr John said it is hoped work on the rebuild could start by the middle of next year and then be completed within 12 months.

The plans were welcomed by Cllr Bob Greenland, who said the investment would complement the new school and a planned £10-million regeneration of the town centre.

“The leisure centre has been a huge benefit for Monmouth and I am sure it will be the same for Caldicot,” Cllr Greenland said.

“I would like to see this as soon as we can.”

Council leader, Peter Fox, said there is a “growing need” for leisure services in the county, with new housing developments in the pipeline.

Cllr Fox said he hoped further improvements to facilities in Chepstow and Abergavenny could also be made in the future.