“The wait is almost over!” declared Eastleigh Borough Council as they announced a date for the “soft opening” of Fleming Park’s replacement leisure centre which has been named “Places Leisure Eastleigh”.
The council had originally intended to open the new state-of-the-art centre in time to celebrate the 2016 Rio Olympics – but it will now welcome its first customers on Tuesday 28 November with an official opening in the Spring.
The new leisure centre is billed as offering the very latest in high quality facilities – an eight-lane, 25-metre main swimming pool (an increase from six lanes at the previous centre); a larger learner pool with an adjustable depth that makes it accessible for a range of users; one of the largest sports halls in the South, as well as a huge fitness suite, studios, squash courts, soft play facilities and a café that opens up onto Fleming Park. The new centre will also continue to feature a free car park.
The final cost will be in the region of £30 million (a £10 million increase on the estimate of £20 million that was presented to cabinet in 2014) and has been co-funded by Sport England, who contributed £2 million to the scheme.
Almost £4 million has come from the ‘New home Bonus” – Government funding for councils that welcome new housing development, which they can spend to benefit their local community.
The Council’s partners in the build are Interserve Construction Ltd and the centre has been designed by AHR Architects Ltd. The new site will be operated by Places for People Leisure, the long-established operators of Fleming Park Leisure Centre, for the next 20 years.
Places Leisure Eastleigh will also be the flagship for the council’s pioneering HealthWorks physical activity referral and advice scheme. The council say they were determined that there would be no loss of amenity during the build period and Fleming Park Leisure Centre has continued to remain open for business while its successor was being built on the adjacent site.
It’s anticipated that the stylish new centre will prove to be a popular attraction and the increased revenue would repay the cost of borrowing . Council Leader Councillor Keith House said in a statement:
“As well as offering superb facilities, Places Leisure Eastleigh will be our flagship for promoting wellbeing and healthier lifestyles across the borough – and the cost of construction comes at no cost to our council tax payers.
“We’re very excited about the opening of Places Leisure Eastleigh and I know that people across our Borough and further afield will be hugely impressed by this superb new venue.”
To join the mailing list to find out more about Places Leisure Eastleigh facilities and membership, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eastleigh News first reported on Council plans in July 2012 see here