Chesterfield residents will benefit from a range of sport and physical activities for all ages and abilities when the new £11.25 million Queen's Park Sports Centre opens for the first time.
The Chesterfield Borough Council–run centre will open its doors from Tuesday 5 January and will open from 6.30am Monday to Friday and from 8am on Saturday and Sunday.
The official opening will take place on Thursday 7 January, ahead of a community open day for residents at the centre on Saturday 9 January that will feature Coronation Street star Kym Marsh, who plays Michelle McDonald in the ITV soap.
Kym will lead a fitness class and meet fans from 10am to 1.30pm before having lunch with some competition winners. Residents will also be able to try out a range of different activities, see demonstrations by local sports groups, try out the new facilities for themselves and sign up for memberships of the new centre.
The centre has been made possible by funding of £6.725 million from Chesterfield Borough Council, £2.5 million from Chesterfield College, as part of a partnership agreement, £2 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Strategic Facilities Fund and £25,000 from England Squash.
Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Chesterfield Borough Council's cabinet member for town centre and visitor economy, said: "I am proud that we have made this investment in a new state-of-the-art sports centre at a time when many councils are having to make difficult decisions about reducing funding for leisure activities or closing facilities.
"Investment in the health and well-being of residents is a priority for the council because national statistics show the number of people in Chesterfield living healthy and active lifestyles is significantly below the national average.
"Having a brand new town centre sports centre will help us to encourage people of all ages and abilities to take part in sports activities but also to take advantage of the associated facilities, such as the services being provided at the midwifery base."
Charles Johnston, Sport England's property director, added: "Having the right sports facilities in the right areas are fundamental in offering more people to take part in sport and leisure activities.
"This is why we have invested National Lottery money in the new Queen's Park Sports Centre to provide outstanding facilities which will encourage more people to take up sport and ensure they receive a quality experience."
Students of the Chesterfield College Sport and Wellbeing Academy will have use of state of the art training rooms in the centre during the day in term time and will continue to use the sports facilities alongside members of the public as at the previous Queen's Park Sports Centre.
Stuart Cutforth, Chesterfield College principal, said: "We're delighted that we could invest in this exciting modern health and leisure facility. The partnership approach benefits both local residents and students.
"Our Sport and Wellbeing Academy located in the sports centre means that we can ensure students are able to train in the best facilities. It is wonderful to know that students will be getting this experience in a fully functioning public facility.
"We are training the next generation of sports and leisure experts who will be the ones providing services for local residents in the future."
The centre will house the only pay and play squash facility in the borough.
Mark Williams, director of participation at England Squash, said: "At England Squash, we are really looking forward to working closely with Chesterfield Borough Council to make sure the fantastic new courts are well used.
"It is an exciting time for sport in the town and we are delighted that squash is part of the new Queen's Park Sports Centre."
Facilities in the new centre include:
- an eight lane main swimming pool with spectator seating
- a learner pool with moveable floor and children's fun water features
- an eight court sports hall a viewing area and moveable spectator seating for events
- 80 station gym
- activity studio with latest features in active technology
- two glass back squash courts with moveable wall for other activity use
- three training rooms
- freedom climbing for fitness and fun
- village changing facilities, individual and family cubicles for swimmers and modesty showers
- changing facilities for fitness and dry sports or activities
- café service, vending machines and social space including healthy eating options
- midwifery centre
- free car parking for users of the centre with space for more than 150 cars
- cycle access and storage shelter
- access to outdoor games area on Queen's Park and existing outdoor tennis and bowling facilities
Care has been taken to make the new centre accessible for all residents including with physical disabilities, including:
- lifts for access between floors
- assisted changing rooms
- group changing
- pool access lift
- graduated steps to the main pool
There is a range of membership options available at the new sports centre, visit www.queensparksportscentre.co.uk for more details.
The project also features a piece of public art as part of the council's Percent for Art scheme.
Jump is a sculpture of a time lapse motion of the human figure jumping. The design, manufactured from copper, represents the beauty of movement and the joy of life itself.
Mick Thacker, the artist responsible, said: "The theme and form of the piece is inspired by the human body in motion a simple and poetic form reflecting the power, grace and elegance of movement in a static, sculptural form.
"My wish is for the work to inspire and motivate, to stimulate debate and contemplation and to generate interest from all site users now and into the future."
The existing Queen's Park Sports Centre in Boythorpe Road will be demolished during 2016 once work to decommission the building is complete.
A public consultation will be held to look at long-term options for the future of the site that is in keeping with the neighbouring Grade II star listed Queen's Park.