Residents have had their say on how best to replace the ageing King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove.

Some 500 suggestions were made by more than 200 people during a drop-in event at the complex as early ideas for the project were shared by developers.

Many said a competition-sized swimming pool for all ages and abilities was paramount while there were requests for badminton facilities, martial arts, dance classes, and activities for children and young people.

There were also calls for an updated gym as well as activities aimed at people aged 60 and over.

The most popular requests, however, were that the centre meets the needs of those with disabilities with suggestion including more adaptive equipment, audio points, and coloured wayfinding routes, while others said the new building should be energy efficient and built using recyclable materials.

Councillor Alan Robins, of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “Brighton and Hove residents are passionate about sports and leisure and we’re focussed on delivering a facility that our city deserves.

“Getting views from residents is vital if we are to achieve our aim of creating a modern new hub that meets local needs and attracts visitors both now and in the future.

The Argus: Some 500 suggestions were made on how best to replace the facilitySome 500 suggestions were made on how best to replace the facility (Image: The Argus)

“We are delighted that so many people have already taken the time to attend consultation events and share their thoughts.

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“But if you missed them – don’t worry. There will be many more opportunities to have your say over the coming months."

Once the drop-in was finished, a workshop was held for around 40 people representing residents, community groups and sports clubs who regularly use the centre. 

The aim of the workshop was to “create an overall vision for the new facility and consider the practical and financial constraints of delivering it”.  

From calls to build on the existing site, to a plea to ‘be bold and do something amazing’ attendees were keen to add their comments and explore options. 

While some residents favoured a seafront location, others suggested sites to the north of Hove and nearer to schools, with good walking routes and public transport links.  

Over the summer and early autumn, site options will be explored in more detail and a timeline for the project developed. Work will include some initial outline designs and feasibility studies for the current and alternative sites. 

The city council will then share a shortlist of three sites, including the current site, and more detailed consultation on those options.