MBC recently secured the head lease of the complex in order to allow the Council to actively manage the centre in a bid to make it a key destination for leisure activities in the town centre and to support one of its strategic priorities to make Maidstone a Thriving Place. As part of that, MBC plans to improve and refresh the complex to help attract and retain tenants, and to make the venue an attractive and compelling destination for residents and visitors.
Plans for a refurbishment to improve the visibility and appearance of the leisure complex were submitted to and passed by the Committee on Thursday 23 July. The proposed improvements include redesigning and painting key features of the façade, removal of a gated car park entrance, and removal of the cattle market structure and car park railings. The overall effect will be to give the complex a more modern look, open up the surroundings, and link it to the adjoining Medway riverside.
Chair of the MBC Planning Committee, Cllr Clive English said:
“The Council is committed to working as an active landlord at Lockmeadow. We see that making improvements and updating the appearance of the building and facilities will create a place people will want to go and spend quality time at and this first phase of the alterations will be part of that.”
Cllr Paul Harper - ward councillor for the area added:
“Lockmeadow plays a huge contribution to the Maidstone economy, and by investing in the site, we will generate a financial return, which is in line with our commercial investment strategy. The complex plays a key role in the leisure offer to visitors, and these improvements will help the Council realise its priority of making the borough a Thriving Place.
“At a time when the local economy needs a strong boost to help it recover from Covid-19, this is exactly what the Council should be doing. The news is welcomed particularly as Lockmeadow has started to reopen its doors and tenants return to the complex post the Covid-19 lockdown.”
Re-openings scheduled so far at Lockmeadow are: