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Final decision for controversial leisure centre revamp

Artist impression of the multi-million pound leisure centre. Credit: Carlisle City Council

The final decision to give the green light to a controversial £25 million revamp of Carlisle's Sands Centre is set to get the go-ahead later.

City councillors are being asked to approve the proposal at a meeting held this evening.

The authority says the plans will deliver more modern leisure facilities for the city.

Opponents argue the site is unsuitable for redevelopment because it has a history of flooding. It was left underwater in 2015 in the wake of Storm Desmond.

Drone shot of the floods which hit the Sands Centre in 2005 and 2015. Credit: ITV Border

Concerns have also been raised are about the loss of the city's current James Street swimming pool, and the future of the adjacent historic Turkish baths that date back to 1874.

English Heritage gave the building a Grade II status, in 2010.

No firm plans have been made for the James' Street building when the public swimming pool is closed, and the fate of the historic baths is uncertain.

Turkish baths, Carlisle. Credit: ITV Border

The plans would see the creation of a eight-lane swimming pool and a learner pool, as well as a four court sports hall and a gym.

A full council meeting will decide whether or not to give the project the final go-ahead.