Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Leisure centre all set to welcome medallist
A COMMUNITY-RUN leisure centre is set for a golden seal of approval when it re-opens next month.
Peter Reed, who won two Olympic gold medals in the men's coxless fours, will be cutting the ribbon at Cricklade Leisure Centre at 11am on Sunday, September 9.
It is undergoing a £100,000 revamp in a bid to spruce up its coffee shop and gym.
Work started in July with the gym and bar area being knocked through and rebuilt to open up a spacious training room with state-of-the-art digital equipment.
On the same level, a coffee shop and bar are being created with a viewing window to the swimming pool.
Centre manager Gary Walker is looking forward to the opening and hoping to build on the excitement surrounding the Olympic Games.
He said: “It’s going to look stunning and completely different to what we have now. It will look really modern and a lot more inviting to our customers.
“We are delighted to have Peter to open the new gym. Peter has got his two medals and has set down his legacy and hopefully we’re starting our own legacy with the leisure centre.”
The leisure centre was on the brink of closure just five years ago but was saved thanks to a campaign by residents. It was taken over by local volunteers in 2007.
Since then, about £200,000 has been pumped into revamping the centre, including refurbishing pool areas and racquet courts and building a seven-metre high climbing wall.
Funding has come from grants and donations and also from the centre itself, which operates as a non-profit organisation.
Gary said improvements had been needed for the area for several years and he hoped that this would attract new users to the centre.
He said: “We are hoping it will improve membership and we wanted to give a reward to those who already use us.
“It is all adding to the continued success of the centre. We said that we wanted to establish where we were and where we were going and wait to make improvements to the facilities.
“Hopefully, with the planned improvements we can make it even more of a community centre.”