Bury St Edmunds is set to get a bigger new swimming pool than first planned - with a new eight-lane facility having been designed.

The pool will be one of the key features in a new multi-million pound public services hub, which has gone out to tender this week with the aim to begin work next year.

Concerns were raised in the summer by Independent councillor Paul Hopfensperger that the planned six-lane swimming pool would not be future-proofed when a bigger eight lane pool could be accommodated, and the council has now confirmed it is planning an eight-lane 25m pool.

The council said it always had the flexibility for that, and its evidence now supported the case for a bigger pool. That will be in addition to a four-lane teaching pool with moveable floor and other leisure facilities.

Elsewhere, the council has also confirmed that the existing skatepark will be upgraded with the input of those using the facilities, and a new pavilion is planned for the athletics track to operate as a standalone facility.

Jo Rayner, portfolio holder for leisure, culture and community hubs for West Suffolk Council, said: “From the beginning we have designed this scheme to be cost neutral and flexible to meet future needs while bringing a range of public and private services together into one place to deliver benefits greater than the sum of their parts.

“This has meant we have recently been able to include an eight-lane pool in the design as well as more environmentally-friendly initiatives.

“We have already seen the benefits for the wellbeing of residents at Mildenhall at putting health and leisure services together. At the same time people will find it easier to access services and have modern facilities designed for their needs.”

West Suffolk Council confirmed the first stage of tendering to test the market was launched on January 10 for the Western Way hub, which will see the former depot building in Olding Road given a new lease of life.

The proposals, costing somewhere between £91million and £132m, will include a brand new leisure centre and business space alongside key services like police, councils, health services, libraries, Citizens Advice and others.