THE footprint of the proposed Sands Centre redevelopment has already been reduced to ensure the scheme comes in on budget.

Planning permission has already been approved but architects overseeing ambitious, multi-million pound redevelopment of the sports and entertainments centre are requesting that the council approves a revised plan.

In a letter to the city council, the Manchester-based GT3 Architects explained that "following the grant of planning permission the project team carried out a detailed analysis of construction costs that resulted in a need to reduce the costs in order to fit the project’s budget."

The budget for the project is £19.4 million.

The letter, sent on December 21, which forms part of the latest application to be considered by the planning authority, added that “the main change to the scheme is the reduction of the building’s footprint to reduce the scheme by 350 square metres.”

If the proposal is approved, the planned swimming pool hall will be reduced in width, “resulting in the loss of 76 spectator seats, leaving 150 seats proposed.”

“This provision still meets the requirements of Sport England,” the letter continued.

Detailed plans for the Sands Centre redevelopment were approved by the council on November 26 last year.

Construction is expected to start in the spring and is planned for completion by the end of 2020.

Carlisle City Council said the change would not affect the provision of facilities.

"A detailed costing exercise is underway to ensure that the scheme is on budget and delivers on the key elements," said a spokeswoman.

"All the proposals including the pools, fitness suite, sports hall, dance and exercise studios, NHS physiotherapy suite, bar and improvements to the auditorium remain the same.

"Following market testing, the project team has reduced the overall footprint of the building and some minor amendments have been made to the approved design. This will not impact on the overall design and will make the building more efficient to operate."