The King Alfred Leisure Centre could be demolished to make way for a new £50 million leisure centre, with housing also set to be built on the site.

Initial plans unveiled yesterday at the leisure centre in Hove revealed that the new “flagship” centre would host county and regional level competitions to “raise the city’s profile as a destination for sports”.

Some of the facilities proposed for the new modern and sustainable leisure centre include an eight-lane 25-metre competition swimming pool, an eight-court sports hall, an “interactive cycling studio”, 350 spectator seats and “some element of leisure water”.

On-site parking would also be included as part of the development.

The likely cost of the project has been estimated at up to £50 million, with part of the cost set to be offset by a housing development on the current site.

Consultation is underway as work begins on building a “comprehensive business case” for the new leisure centre, which would replace the current King Alfred.

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In a drop-in session at the facility, the council said that the risk of the centre’s permanent closure is becoming “increasingly likely with the age and condition of the building”.

The building, which dates back to the 1930s, has endured extensive weathering due to its seafront location, with inefficiencies contributing to high utility and energy costs.

The centre’s swimming pool was also forced to close earlier this year due to a failure of the heating system after water ingress.

The Argus: The ageing leisure centre has faced a range of issues in recent yearsThe ageing leisure centre has faced a range of issues in recent years (Image: The Argus)

Ongoing discussion is taking place about where the new leisure centre should be built.

Among the locations being considered by the council include part of the existing King Alfred site, with the remainder of the site being allocated for residential development to offset higher build costs, along with future running and maintenance costs.

Other options under consideration include construction on another site owned by the council, which could result in the project being hampered by planning restrictions, or locating a plot privately owned, which would lead to “sacrificing some control and autonomy” over the project, the council states.


Regular users of the leisure centre expressed their support for the plans for a new modern facility, but said they would not want to be left without any services while construction takes place.

One user, Sarah Da Silva said: “I’m really pleased to hear about the plans, but I hope they don’t close the current leisure centre for two years in the meantime.

“The current site is the ideal place for the new leisure centre. It’s got the 700 bus route and it’s a short walk from the other bus routes too.”

Local resident Valerie Abraham said: “I remember as a child there being talk of redeveloping the King Alfred so it is definitely time. The city is well overdue for some decent facilities.”

Public engagement on specific locations for the new sports facility is expected to take place this autumn, with a decision on a preferred site expected to be agreed with councillors in spring next year.

A detailed plan for the centre’s construction is due to be unveiled later this year, but work is not expected to begin before late next year or early 2025.