£9.4m Newark Sports and Fitness Centre now open to public

25 April 2016

The new £9.4 million Newark Sports and Fitness Centre opened up to the public for the first time on Monday, April 25.

Doors to the centre, run by Active4Today, opened at 6.30am with customers trying out the new facilities, at the site off Bowbridge Road, for the first time.

Facilities at the state-of-the-art centre include a 850 square metre fitness suite with a virtual zone and family area - approximately two and a half times larger than the current Grove fitness suite - a 25m swimming pool, a 20m teaching pool, four badminton court sports hall, two group exercise studios, two glass backed squash courts with movable wall; all this is supported by customer-friendly changing villages for the swimming pools and well equipped changing rooms for the fitness suite. In addition, there is a children’s soft play area for the young visitors to the building and seating and refreshment areas to relax for everyone else.

Councillor Tony Roberts, chairman of the council’s leisure and environment committee, said: “This development represents a major investment by the council and a demonstration of our commitment to the provision of leisure facilities in the district. During construction this has given an excellent boost for the economy and will continue to do so.

"The new Newark Sports and Fitness Centre is a real asset for all sections of the community and we have ben really looking forward to the opening.This is a landmark in sporting provision for the district."

Active4Today managing director Andy Carolan said: “We are so pleased with the facility and excited by the opportunities this will provide for the community.

“The facility is a fantastic building with a design developed with the customer in mind. As a result, Active4Today is able to offer activities for families, right up to those with specialist training needs.”

Programming of activities at the centre has been developed to ensure there is a mixture of club usage, provision for pay and play as well as casual and regular bookings and partnership programmes.

In addition to the council’s financial commitment, additional funds have been secured from Newark Town Council, Newark and Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Group and the Nottinghamshire Learning and Disability Partnership. This finance will support people with long-term health conditions, mental health and physical disabilities as well as supporting the reduction of childhood obesity at age 11. The ‘Changing Places’ toilet and changing room are an excellent resource, for those with additional needs and who are unable to use standard accessible facilities.

Main contractor RG Carter was appointed in October 2014 with work beginning the following January in partnership with the  council and Active4Today staff. While RG Carter has exceeded its target of keeping at least 75 per cent of contract spend within 45-mile radius of Newark, the development has also provided employment opportunities and created six new apprenticeships.

The Grove Leisure Centre closed for the final time on Friday, April 22. Existing members have had their memberships automatically transferred and are able to use the new facility or any of Active4Today-operated sports centres at Blidworth, Ollerton and Southwell.

An open weekend will be held on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15 during which the public will be invited to try out the new facilities free of charge. The following week (May 16-20) there will be a special week of activities for local businesses, schools, colleges and clubs, culminating with the official opening ceremony on Friday, May 20.

The centre will be put to wider community use as the venue for the Newark and Sherwood section of the count for the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Election on May 5/6.

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