Leisure centres in Sudbury and Hadleigh will undergo an enormous programme of refurbishments over the next year, after Babergh District Council approved £4 million of investment.
The investment is described as the largest ever commitment by South Suffolk Leisure, the charitable trust formed in 2006 to manage the Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Station Road and Hadleigh Pool and Leisure in Stonehouse Road.
It will fund major projects at both centres, subject to planning approval, which will be sought with formal applications in the spring.
At the Kingfisher, the refurbishment will result in a two-storey extension with a dance studio and community space, as well as a full renovation of the wet and dry changing rooms, while the health and wellbeing centre will more than double in size.
Work will begin this autumn, with the aim of concluding in September 2019.
John Ward, leader of Babergh District Council, said: “We are delighted to be injecting such a significant sum of money into refurbishing two of our leisure centres.
“This investment will help to create state-of-the-art facilities that everyone in our communities can use and enjoy.
“Helping and encouraging people to be more active and improve their quality of life is a key priority for us and, in agreeing to finance these improvements, we are getting closer to achieving that aim.”
In Hadleigh, the work, which will run from winter 2018 to winter 2019, will see the 47-year-old swimming pool replaced, and a new sauna and steam room introduced.
A statement from Hadleigh Town Council said: “It has always been our aspiration to see the swimming pool in Hadleigh replaced.
“We are making a significant contribution to make this happen.
“Money was collected door-to-door to build the original pool and a precept was added to our council tax in 2005. These funds will now be used to contribute to the costs of replacing the pool.”
Tim Mutum, chairman of South Suffolk Leisure Trust, added: “This is largest investment that the trust has ever committed to.
“The latest Government strategy, DCMS Sporting Future, aims to tackle head-on the flat-lining levels of sport participation and high levels of inactivity in the country.
“We need facilities that are fit for purpose. These projects will bring both local authority-owned centres up to an amazing standard.”