LOCAL dignitaries gathered at Swindon Supermarine yesterday to mark the opening of a brand new sports facility.

Located in The Swindome, a £600,000 air dome erected in November 2015, the new £85,000 community facility houses a state-of-the-art gym, changing rooms and a physiotherapy suite, among other things.

The non-league football club’s purpose is to make use of its extensive facilities to host a wide range of community activities aimed at tackling social, health and education needs in and around Swindon and Wiltshire.

The assembled guests were welcomed by Alan Fletcher, one of the Supermarine Trust’s trustees.

He said: “I would like to welcome you all here today as we unveil the new community facility at the Webbswood Stadium.

“We are very proud of the new building and all the things we have to offer the people of Swindon and Wiltshire.”

Among the attendees were North and South Swindon Conservative parliamentary candidates Justin Tomlinson and Robert Buckland. The Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Sarah Rose Troughton, and chief executive of The Hills Group, Mike Hill, who has been involved with constructing the facility, were also in attendance.

The new building, which also houses meeting rooms and a fancy dining area that allows people to lookout over the pitches, will be available for the community to use all year round.

Standing beneath the giant sports dome, Swindome manager Keith Yoemans explained how it all works.

He said: “The dome’s structure is held together entirely by air pressure. It’s still a work in progress and there are a few kinks that need to be ironed out, but we are very pleased with how it has turned out.

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to come down and use the facility.”

Swindon Supermarine Sports and Education received the backing of the local business community, which enabled it to begin building work on the new facility at the beginning of November 2016.

Steve Moore, one of the other trustees, also said how pleased he was to see the new facility unveiled.