FARNBOROUGH Recreation Centre is to undergo a £5.5million redevelopment as part of Rushmoor Council's review of leisure facilities in the borough.

It will include a ten-lane tenpin bowling centre, a larger fitness suite, new family changing rooms for the swimming pool, improved children's play and party rooms and a solarium, beauty and physiotherapy suite.

Rushmoor has provisionally committed £3million to the project, which is being undertaken in partnership with contractor DC Leisure, which is investing the remaining £2.5million in the scheme.

Deputy council leader Peter Moyle said: "Residents in Farnborough, particularly young people, have been asking for tenpin bowling and improvements in our leisure facilities.

"This exciting initiative is the first part of a wider review of all our leisure services, including Aldershot Pools, Aldershot Lido and Southwood Golf Course."

Cllr Rosemary Possee, the cabinet member for leisure and youth, said: "We have been impressed by the improvements DC Leisure have brought to our facilities.

"These new developments will help to regenerate Farnborough town centre and provide better facilities for children, young people and those with disabilities."

The centre will remain open during the work, which is due to start this month and should be completed by the end of the year.

Rushmoor's head of leisure services Peter Amies said: "We just have to clear up the fine detail and a few legal issues and the development will be ready to start at the end of the month.

"We are very happy with what has come forward from DC Leisure and the benefits that will be achieved for the residents of Farnborough in particular, but also the wider area.

"Surveys of about 3,000 people were carried out by us, where we were saying to young people and other residents ‘these are the leisure facilities we have, what do you think of them and what other facilities would you like to see?'.

"A multiplex cinema, tenpin bowling and improved nightlife were the top answers so it's great to be able to provide this bowling facility."

The improved centre is expected to attract more than 700,000 customers a year, an increase of almost 50% on current figures.

Mr Amies said: "This is good news and we look forward to the development starting so residents can start benefiting from the new and enhanced leisure facilities."