A MASSIVE project which could bring a new swimming pool, gym and adventure play area to Chard is now one step closer to becoming a reality.

Developers Alliance Leisure and architect consultants AHR have been put in charge of bringing the Chard Regeneration Project to life.

South Somerset District Council said the centre will offer a ‘diverse array of facilities’ which are likely to include a 25 metre swimming pool, a gym, group exercise studios, an adventure play area, changing rooms and a café.

Karle Burford, director at AHR, said “We are thrilled to be working with SSDC on the proposals to bring forward a mixed-use community scheme, redeveloping the historic Boden Mill site that includes the former ACI factory site.

“Our shared vision to instil the historic nature of the town within the design is integral to the project, and we look forward to harmonising the old with the new.

“The first phase of the scheme will be designing the brand-new leisure centre, with modern facilities for families to enjoy for years to come.”

Cllr Jo Roundell Greene is portfolio holder for the Chard Regeneration Scheme and deputy leader of South Somerset District Council.

She said: “Feedback from a series of public consultations has revealed that people want the development to include: a leisure centre with swimming pool; more places to eat and socialise; improved leisure opportunities for young people; green open spaces and opportunities for small, independent retailers to thrive.”

The Boden Mill itself will be redeveloped into a culture and public sector hub with a library and a satellite museum.

The police, council and other local service providers are also likely to be housed in the new facility.

Conversion of the upper floors will create a number of residential units for rent or purchase.

Julia Goddard, of Alliance Leisure, said: “Over the next few months we will work closely with architects AHR to produce outline plans for the overall development.

“We will also create full design plans for the new leisure centre, aiming for submission by July 2019.

“Once planning permissions are granted, works will start on the demolition of the factories and warehouses.”

The works will be carried out in phases starting with the new leisure centre and will complete at the end of 2020, subject to planning approval in summer 2019.