Cardiac rehab group set to be at heart of £3million leisure centre extension - The Evesham Observer

Cardiac rehab group set to be at heart of £3million leisure centre extension

Evesham Editorial 28th Apr, 2017   0

A MAJOR cardiac rehab centre will be at the heart of a £3million extension of Evesham Leisure Centre, the Observer can reveal.

Leading town charity Evesham Vale Cardiac Rehab (EVCR) will take up much of the proposed ‘health and well-being’ extension to provide heart attack victims or those suffering with heart disease the necessary information to lead active lives.

EVCR will have use of the ground floor for all health-related activities and rehabilitation programmes to get Vale residents back on their feet.

The service was first established in 2009 but the success of the scheme means a larger base is now needed to help tackle the growing need to tackle heart attacks and heart disease in residents of all ages.

EVCR chairman Gerry O’Donnell told the Observer 60 deaths a year could be prevented if 75 per cent of the population aged 40 to 79 engaged in the recommended amount of physical activity.

“In Wychavon, 17.6 per cent of the population have a long term health issue or disability and 30.1 per cent of adults are inactive.

“The work of the new unit will be based on prevention, targeting those people who have either suffered an ‘event’ (heart attack, cardiac arrest) or are at risk of developing a chronic condition.

“We will also continue to deliver the existing rehabilitation programmes,” he added.

And in advance of the new development, the charity has launched its ‘Healthy Hearts’ referral programme which aims get local GP’s to refer patients at risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions who would benefit from a tailored exercise programme.

Mr O’Donnell presented his plans to a recent meeting of the South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and received a warm reception from local GP’s.

“I am delighted we have some good support from GP’s from across Evesham, Broadway and Inkberrow,” he said.

“We have some work to do on the referral criteria but I remain very hopeful our local GP’s will signpost patients to this service,” he added.

If approved by planning chiefs, two-storey extension would be added to the side of the Abbey Road leisure centre, which first opened in 2009, to expand the gym area by using the current studio space. The studio space would then be replaced in the first floor of the extension.

A further studio and activity space is also proposed for the ground floor of the new building, with meeting rooms, storage spaces, a small kitchen and an additional accessible toilet included.

Wychavon District Council will stump up the cash for the project with operators Wychavon Leisure then paying back £100,000 a year as part of a profit share agreement.

Councillors voted to recommend to full council that the £3million is made available for the extension at a meeting on April 12.

Should full council approve the funding, it’s hoped planning approval for the project will be gained in December this year, with the new extension to open in January 2019.


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