The wait is almost over for the keenly anticipated opening of the South’s newest leisure centre, Places Leisure Eastleigh, which welcomes its first customers this Tuesday 28 November 2017.
Partners in the project joined Councillors and young representatives of the Hampshire Talented Athletes scheme for a preview of the new facility and to celebrate the completion of its construction.
Eastleigh Borough Council has developed the state-of-the-art replacement for the popular Fleming Park Leisure Centre, which offers the very latest in high quality facilities and equipment in a striking building that is set in a parkland location and has been built to high environmental standards.
The Council’s main partners in the project are Sport England, who contributed £2 million to the scheme, Interserve Construction Ltd and the centre has been designed by AHR Architects Ltd. The centre is run by Places for People Leisure, the long-established operators of Fleming Park Leisure Centre, who won the licence to manage Places Leisure Eastleigh for the next 20 years.
The new £28 million sports, health and fitness venue, off Passfield Avenue, is built to a very high specification and offers 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.
Places Leisure Eastleigh is also the flagship for the Council’s pioneering HealthWorks physical activity referral and advice scheme. At today’s preview, Sport England’s Relationship Manager - Capital Projects Steve Welch spoke of the importance of venues like Places Leisure Eastleigh in getting people more active.
The Council was determined that there would be no loss of amenity during the build period and Fleming Park Leisure Centre remained open for business while its successor was being built on the adjacent site. Clever use of space means that more facilities have been packed into a similar footprint, and no parkland has been lost to the build.
Council Leader Councillor Keith House, is looking forward to the opening. He said: “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. It is a tribute to all involved that it is being delivered on time and within budget.”
He added, “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.”
John Oxley Chief Operating Officer of PfP Leisure, said: “The whole team are extremely excited about opening the doors on Tuesday 28 November and welcoming our customers, who we know will be hugely impressed by what we believe is one of the finest leisure centres in the country.”
Justin Elliott, Divisional Director, Interserve Construction Ltd, said: "Working in partnership with Eastleigh Borough Council, PfP, the Design Team and our Supply Chain we have gone from green field to new Leisure Centre in 19 months. This is a real success story and a great example of what can be achieved when a collaborative approach is adopted across the whole team."
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Photo caption - Mayor of Eastleigh, Cllr Mo Sollitt with Borough Councillors and athletes from Hampshire's Talented Athletes Scheme