Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre in Leamington has marked the conclusion of the 18-month multi-million pound refurbishment and redevelopment it underwent.
The leisure centre, managed by leisure provider Everyone Active in partnership with Warwick District Council , held an open day on Saturday to show off its new and improved facilities.
Everyone active has said: "The centre now boasts a 100-station gym and fitness studios, new four-court sports hall, much improved reception area, cafe, changing village and Leamington’s very first Clip ‘n’ Climb, a climbing centre offering 13 individual themed experiences providing healthy and challenging fun for all ages and abilities."
The Chairman of Warwick District Council, Councillor Stephen Cross, started the event by cutting a ribbon outside the facility and delivering a speech.
Members of the Rugby Trampoline Club also showcased their talents before the activities started.
By making a £1 donation to mental health charity MIND, visitors were able try their hand at gymnastics through Everyone Active’s Max Whitlock scheme, virtual group cycling, clip ‘n’ climb and trampolining, while children had free access to a bouncy castle and the soft play facilities.
Construction company Speller Metcalfe carried out the upgrades to both Newbold Comyn and the nearby St Nicholas Park Leisure Centre in Warwick, which was completed earlier this year as part of the overall £14.5 million project.
The project was not without some controversy.
A report to councillors had said that without this work, the leisure centres would become “not fit for purpose”.
When they went before the full council and were approved in 2016 seven Labour councillors objected to the plans, which involved the pools shutting for more than five months at the same time.
And Labour councillor Colin Quinney said “alarm bells should ring" that the cost had risen by about 30 per cent in 12 months when the initial bill for the project was estimated at £12 million.
Newbold Comyn’s swimming pool was re-opened in August last year while St Nicholas Park was ‘officially re-opened ‘ in April of this year with its pool being re-opened last September.
All of the new facilities at Newbold Comyn were open by the end of August this year.
Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Culture, Councillor Michael Coker, said: “We can’t say that this has been an easy journey, but we now have a real reason for local people to celebrate and take advantage of having some of the best leisure facilities in the country right on their doorstep.
"If you haven’t done so already I would urge you to come to Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre to find out what’s now on offer.”
Everyone Active is supporting Public Health England's Every Mind Matters campaign to empower more people to take control of their mental health by getting active.
The provider is offering free swim and gym sessions every Monday from now until mid-December at Newbold Comyn and St Nicholas Park Leisure Centres, Castle Farm Recreation Centre, John Atkinson Sports Centre at Myton School and Meadow Community Sports Centres at Kenilworth School as well as at the Abbey Fields Swimming Pool in Kenilworth.
.Those wishing to make the most of the free activity can sign up online.
From there they will receive a voucher allowing them into Swim 4 Everyone and Swim 4 Fitness sessions, or free access to the gym between 10am and 3pm.
The passes can be used on Mondays only from now up until December 17 at participating Everyone Active sites.
Toni Gaskins, Everyone Active’s area contract manager, said: “We are huge advocates of the role of physical activity plays in helping people to improve their overall health and wellbeing.
"It is extremely important that we all look after our mental health, and we’re delighted to be supporting a campaign that helps people to do just that.”