TWO new swimming pools have been opened at Stratford Leisure and Visitor Centre.
As part of a £5million regeneration project, some of the district council-owned building, which celebrated its 40th birthday in April last year, is being upgraded for the first time in more than three decades.
The first stage of the revamp saw wet-side changing rooms, a rear entrance, and a café built.
During the second phase, the 33m pool and the shallow training pool have been closed off to the public while refurbishments – including tile removal and ceiling works – were carried out.
Since October leisure centre users have been swimming in a temporary pool provided as part of the British Gas ‘Pools for Schools Programme.’
But following the revamp, the pools were officially reopened on Friday (July 10) and members had the chance to try them out for the first time before the public were invited to take part in a free swimming session on Saturday (July 11).
A 340m sq changing facility and a new sauna and steam room have also been installed as part of the second phase of redevelopment.
And the final phase – expected to be completed by September – will see the sports hall revamped while a new entrance, reception and communal area, group exercise studio and £289,000 climbing wall will also be built.
Gareth Wagg, general manager at Stratford Leisure Centre, said: “Our members have been incredibly supportive of the refurbishment and we wanted to show our appreciation by giving them an exclusive first swim in the pools.
“The centre is looking fantastic and we’re extremely excited about the latest developments.”
District council technical services spokesman, Mike Brain, added: “Stratford is our flagship leisure centre and it is great to see the conclusion of this latest phase.
“The refurbished pool, changing areas, steam room and sauna are now first class facilities of which Stratford should be extremely proud and I hope that residents and visitors alike enjoy using them.”