1963 First ideas for a sports centre

Once a decision had been taken in 1962 to build the new indoor swimming pool in Central Park and not in the city centre as some had wanted, ideas for extending the range of facilities started to emerge.  Indoor tennis, indoor bowls, badminton and athletics were all discussed.

In 1963, the chairman of Plymouth Argyle proposed in an after-dinner speech that the football club should take over Central Park and develop it as a sports centre. 

Report of Argyle’s offer to take over Central Park. Western Morning News 24th June 1963. (The Box accession reference 2732/20)

In 1968, three years after the swimming pool opened, the Council presented its first proposal for a sports centre.  It included a running track and provision for widening Outland Road as a dual carriageway. 

Plymouth City Council’s proposals in 1968 for a sports centre in Central Park. (The Box accession reference 4133)

Whilst these early ideas went undeveloped, they paved the way for the Mayflower Centre which opened in 1970.