A scheme by the Canadian architect Frank Gehry looks increasingly likely to win the contract to redevelop the King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove.
Twelve councillors from Brighton and Hove council's policy and resources committee were yesterday choosing between Gehry's Karis/ING scheme and a proposal by housebuilder Barratt and developer Brunswick.

But senior members of the council have thrown their weight behind the Gehry scheme, which has also been worked on by Piers Gough. The Karis/ING proposal is thought likely to provide a bigger boost to the city's economy, providing £25–32m a year, compared with £15-21m from Barratt/Brunswick. It would also work out cheaper for council tax payers, and create more jobs.

Deputy council leader Sue John said: "Both were good bids. But we've been extra-impressed with the Karis team. It is professional, enthusiastic and proactive. The development offers a real boost to the local economy."

The Gehry scheme includes four towers with 438 flats, of which 175 are social housing. The scheme would fund a £26m sports centre.

If the scheme is chosen, there will be at least six months of negotiations between the authority and the developers to agree details before a planning application.