Bidders are being sought to design, build and operate Melton’s planned new multi-million-pound leisure complex off Burton Road.
It is expected that the preferred bidder will make a presentation to Melton borough councillors by the end of this year.
The work will take place at the old King Edward VII School site to create a Melton Sports Village, the council’s leisure vision aimed at catering for generations of Meltonians for years to come.
Harrinder Rai, the council’s head of communities and neighbourhoods, said: “We’re not being prescriptive at this stage.
“We’re asking bidders to come up a complex which would include a mix of dry facilities, extreme sports, indoor sports.
“They will do their market research on what facilities would be popular and hopefully they will come back with some really ambitious projects, including some things we hadn’t thought of.”
Early phases of the project have already been delivered with an enhanced leisure centre and a new football ground for Melton Town FC.
Among the new facilities suggested so far is a 3G artificial sports pitch and a new stadium to be shared by the football club and Melton Rugby Club with seating for 400.
Mr Rai said the preferred bidder would take over the site around April 2018 and it was hoped the new complex would be in use by the end of next year or the year after, depending on how ambitious it is.
He added: “The process will involve competitive dialogue to ensure we get the right partner, who can meet our ambitions and recognises the considerable benefits this project will bring for the community”.
Councillor Leigh Higgins, deputy leader of the borough council and Chair of the Melton, Sport, Leisure and Culture working group said: “The council is currently in the early stages of procurement to secure a multi-million pound contract for the facilities and are looking forward to reviewing the potential bids and we will shortlist them down to a final two or three later this year.”
He added: “The sport and leisure sector is currently worth over £40 million to the Melton economy, while employing over 340 people according to Sport England.
“There is strong evidence this project would be a major boost to the local economy while attracting high skilled jobs to the area.
“By investing in new facilities we will seek to increase participation in sport and leisure to improve health and the wellbeing opportunities for our residents and their families.”