Plans for the centre have faced opposition
A £13m leisure centre has been approved in Northamptonshire.
Plans for the Manor Park centre in Rushden were given the go-ahead by East Northamptonshire Council's development committee.
The new facility is designed to replace the Splash Leisure Pool and the Pemberton Centre.
The council said work would start after final approval for the centre was given by the Government Office for the East Midlands.
The centre will have a swimming pool, a sports hall, dance and exercise studios, a health and fitness suite and theatre.
Plans have faced opposition with opponents of the scheme questioning the cost of the project.
East Northamptonshire Council said it would contribute up to £11m to the project, with £2m coming from the government and a further £800,000 provided by the East Midlands Development Agency.
Andy Mercer, the leader of the council, said: "This is excellent news for the town and I am extremely pleased that Rushden's regeneration is finally under way.
"It has suffered badly over the last few decades, with slowly decaying infrastructure and a lack of investment."