The Official Opening Ceremony of the new £11.9 million Wyre Forest Leisure Centre, took place on Thursday 27 October at the site on Silverwoods Way in Kidderminster.
Many honoured guests were in attendance to officially celebrate the opening of the site including, Chairman of Wyre Forest District Council, Councillor Rose Bishop, representatives from Sport England, 2 x Olympic Gold and Bronze Medallist Swimmer, Rebecca Adlington OBE, Places for People Leisure Management, and its team of Pellikaan Construction and Roberts Limbrick Architects.
The dignitaries were given a tour of the site of the new centre before a commemorative plaque was unveiled by Cllr Bishop and Rebecca Adlington to document the ceremony.
The consortium which designed and built the new leisure centre was led by Places for People Leisure, and since opening the centre has seen around 10,000 people using its facilities every week. Opened to the public on Wednesday 6 July, the centre includes a six lane 25m swimming pool, learner pool with moveable floor, 100 station fitness suite, 6 court sports hall, dance studios, climbing wall and small-sided outdoor pitches. It also has a cafe with viewing areas, a double height children’s adventure play area, a health suite with sauna and steam room and free parking.
Speaking at the Official Opening, Rebecca Adlington commented: “It is an absolute pleasure to be here. The facilities are just amazing and the swimming pool and learner pool are brilliant. I’ve been to many leisure centres across the country and Wyre Forest is without doubt one of the best. I first got into swimming at the age of three as my parents wanted me to learn a life skill and I fell in love with it straight away. My vision is that every child in Britain will be able to swim 25 metres by the time they leave primary school and facilities like these at Wyre Forest Leisure Centre go a long way in helping to make this a reality.”
The talk of the day focussed on the need to continually improve participation and encourage engagement in physical activity within the local community.
Councillor Marcus Hart, Leader of Wyre Forest District Council said: “We are delighted to officially open the new Wyre Forest Leisure Centre and have been overwhelmed with the positive response we’ve had so far. It’s fantastic to have Rebecca Adlington here to celebrate with us. We are proud that we can offer such a wide range of leisure activities. It’s absolutely amazing to have this facility on our doorstep, I’m saying that as the council leader and a customer.”
Places for People Leisure CEO, Sandra Dodd explains: “In partnership with Wyre Forest District Council we work hard to improve the health and wellbeing of the local community and this new leisure centre is a step in the right direction. We are delighted to welcome a host of noted individuals to the ceremony and are happy to report that the facility has been delivered both on budget and on time. We are confident that we have created an environment in which the members of the local community can come and positively engage in leisure activities and look forward to following the progress of the centre and its members over the coming months.”
Places for People Leisure will be operating and managing the centre on behalf of the Council for the next 25 years. They won the contract to design and build it with their construction partners Pellikaan Construction and architects Roberts Limbrick. Places for People Leisure currently partners 35 local authorities, managing 112 leisure centres across England. Its sites attract over 30 million visits every year and in the past ten years the award winning organisation has built 14 new leisure facilities.
During the launch Rebecca chatted to members of the public, signed autographs and posed for photographs.
For more information, please visit www.placesforpeopleleisure.org
See our gallery of images from launch.