A SOUTHAMPTON leisure centre is set to reopen.

St Mary’s Leisure Centre will open again as soon as possible, and no later than the end of next month.

The decision was made at today's Southampton City Council cabinet meeting.

Read more: St Mary's Leisure Centre reopening to be finalised next month

It follows months of campaigning after the site closed in December, when an agreement for Solent University to run the leisure centre came to an end.

Subject to the completion of the democratic process, it should reopen by the end of August with Active Nation operating the venue for an interim period of up to 18 months.

The centre will broadly offer the same activities as it did before it closed.

The council says it intends to work with the community and users of the centre to design a long-term future.

Councillor Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Leisure, said she was "delighted" at the reopening.

She said: "The reversal of the previous decision to close the venue has been a top priority for our new administration and today marks a significant step towards this.

“We know that every pound we invest on community sport and physical activity generates nearly four pounds for the English economy and society.

“We’re reopening in the short-term, in partnership with Active Nation, broadly offering the same activities as there were before it closed last December and will move as quickly as possible to extend the services offered.

"To establish our long-term plan for this venue, we’ll be working in partnership with users and local people, co-creating the future vision for St Mary’s Leisure Centre to make sure that whatever is provided meets the needs and aspirations of the community.”

Councillor Toqeer Kataria, Cabinet Member for Communities, added: “Eighty-six percent of respondents to the recent consultation said that closing St Mary’s Leisure Centre would have a negative impact.

"In the six months the venue has been closed, I have had local people and users from across the city telling me that this is already happening which is why today’s decision to reopen St Mary’s Leisure Centre is so important.

“As a previous member myself, I look forward to joining those returning to the venue and working together on the sustainable, long-term future for this much-loved community asset.”

The opening date has not been confirmed but is expected to happen before August 31.

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this article - we appreciate your support in reading the Daily Echo.

Subscribing to the Echo means you have unrestricted access to the latest news, features and Saints coverage - all with an advertising-light website.

You will also have full access to Saintsplus, your new home for Southampton FC tactical analysis, features and much, much more.

Don't take my word for it - subscribe here to see for yourself.

Follow the latest breaking news in the Southampton area by joining our Facebook group - Southampton News - Breaking News and Incidents

Follow the latest court and crime news on our dedicated Facebook group - Hampshire Court and Crime News