WORCESTER’S new £10.5million swimming pool opens its doors this weekend with council chiefs hoping the new venue will give the city’s sporting credentials yet another boost.
The revamp of Perdiswell Leisure Centre, in the north of the city, has as its centrepiece a new eight-lane 25-metre competition standard pool designed to attract everyone from casual swimmers to Olympic and Paralympic champions.
Supported by a £2m grant from Sport England, the pool and other fitness facilities at the leisure centre represent a significant investment by Worcester City Council to create a healthy and active city.
Local swimming hero Rebecca Redfern – who scooped the Silver in the women’s SB13 100m breaststroke at the Rio Paralympics – will officially open the pool with the Coun Paul Denham, Mayor of Worcester on Tuesday January, 24.
Droitwich-based Rebecca said: “It’s great to see Worcester investing in this fantastic new pool. People across the UK were thrilled by GB’s swimming success at the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, and I was so proud to be part of that.
“The new look Perdiswell Leisure Centre is exactly what we need if we’re going to grab the medals at Tokyo in 2020.”
Mayor of Worcester, Coun Paul Denham, said: “The opening of Worcester’s new pool is a landmark event for the city, putting us firmly on the swimming map and cementing our reputation as a sporting city.
“Swimmers of all abilities and ages will find Perdiswell Leisure Centre has everything they need and I look forward to seeing the champions of the future training here. I am very proud that this is a fully accessible sports centre – there are no barriers to Worcester’s new pool.”
Charles Johnston, Sport England’s Property Director, says: “Sport England is committed to supporting and developing facilities like the new eight-lane pool at Perdiswell Leisure Centre, in the certainty that it will be a destination which attracts many swimmers and visitors from across the borough and beyond.
“The new pool will be used by people of all abilities and backgrounds, and will be accessible and suitable for everyone, from local school children to the future generations of swimmers.
Ivan Horsfall-Turner, Managing Director of Freedom Leisure, operators of Perdiswell Leisure Centre, said: “As a not-for-profit leisure trust, our primary focus is to serve the communities in which we operate and to enable more people to be more active more often.”
The main eight-lane main pool at Perdiswell Leisure Centre measures 25 metres by 17 metres and boasts poolside seating for 284 spectators with a further 118 seats around the poolside for swimmers.
Fully accessible for people of all abilities, it is a major new sports and leisure facility that is suitable for regional competitions and will put Worcester on the swimming map.
The dazzling new Perdiswell pool hall also boasts an 18×10 metre teaching pool with a movable floor – a fantastic new facility for learners and other swimmers.
A new gym and spin/fitness studio are opening as part of the wider refurbishment of Perdiswell Leisure Centre, complementing the recently revamped sports hall.
When the final touches are completed in in March 2017 the new features at the refurbished Perdiswell Leisure Centre will include:
•25 x 17m eight-lane main pool, depth of 1-2m
•18 x 10m teaching pool with moveable floor
•Facilities for disabled people, including Pool Pod hoists
•Pool Hall seating for 284 spectators
•Large fitness gym with 110-120 stations
•Spin Studio with 25 bikes
•Fully refurbished 8-court Sports Hall
•Sports Hall seating for 100 spectators
•3 separate Fitness Studios
•2 Teaching Rooms.
Sport England’s Strategic Facilities Fund has invested £2 million of National Lottery funding in the leisure centre.
The funding recognises the importance of the new pool in developing Worcester as a vibrant sporting city.
Additional funding for the scheme is being provided by the Heart of Worcestershire College, meaning the facility will house new dedicated classrooms.
The facilities have been designed with full input from funders and partner and stakeholder organisations including Sport England, the County Sports Partnership, Heart of Worcestershire College, Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), Worcester Swimming Club, and Disability Sport Worcester.
The new pool has been built by Worcestershire-based developer Speller Metcalfe and will be operated by Freedom Leisure, which has been awarded a 10-year contract to manage all the Council’s sport and leisure centres.