A long-standing ambition to refurbish Pages Park Pavilion in Leighton Buzzard looks to be moving forward as the town council now has the funds.
Leighton-Linslade Town Council’s policy and finance committee has approved plans for the upgrade which was first put forward in the council’s ‘five year plan’ in 2015. It says after several years of prudent financial management, it is now in a position to take the project forward.
The committee heard that the options were to either refurbish the pavilion, or to demolish it – with the cost of the refurbishment (£330,680) not being significantly different to the cost of demolition.
The majority of councillors agreed that the pavilion is a valuable community asset that should be preserved, and resolved to recommend to full council that the refurbishment should go ahead.
Cllr Amanda Dodwell said: “We are delighted that the committee has backed this plan. Its close proximity to the town centre makes it a community facility for the whole town, with the Play Cafe providing a meeting place for young mums who may otherwise feel isolated.”
Cllr Ray Berry added: “Some of our colleagues did raise concerns about the cost of the project, but when it was pointed out that it would cost almost as much to demolish the building they accepted that the town would never forgive them if they did not back this plan.
“In the end it was an easy decision, and I hope that when it comes to full council they too see the merits of this proposal. It would take a very brave person to try and block this project!”
The pavilion is also a sports hub for the town. Cllr David Bowater said: “The local Croquet club uses the pavilion as their base - it is good to see this facility being used by a group that otherwise would have nowhere to meet.
“Similarly, several football and cricket teams use the changing rooms and shower facilities at Pages Park, and without this facility they would be unable to continue.”
The proposal goes to full council this evening (January 28).