Our Ashbourne Leisure Centre is fighting back in the face of adversity with news of a £60,000 fitness suite upgrade.
A blaze at the leisure centre at the end of July and subsequent investigations by experts and insurers means the centre's pool will remain closed until the new year.
The good news is that the District Council has been successful in a bid for new funding from Derbyshire County Council's 'Aiming High Fund' to create an inclusive fitness centre of excellence, giving better access, equipment and environment for people with varying disabilities.
Existing and new members will benefit too from an extension of the current fitness suite into what is currently a lounge area, new equipment and a full redecoration programme.
The external funding comes on top of a £175,000 Sport England grant that has seen the creation of a new open plan "changing village" for the swimming pool. The new facility was on the verge of being opened to the public when fire broke out back in July in an incident for which a local man has been charged with arson.
Despite the pool closure, all "dryside" facilities at the centre - including the main sports hall, fitness suite and squash courts - have remained open.
A condition of the new grant means that funding must be spent and the project completed by the end of December this year - so the fitness suite will be closed from Friday 10 October for around seven weeks. The aim is to reopen on 1 December.
During the work, a temporary gym comprising cardiovascular and free weight equipment will be available for pre booking via the centre's reception at a reduced cost of £3 per visit (£2 concessions).
All Gym and Fitness Freedom direct debit payments will be frozen for November and December, but members have the option to keep their memberships open to gain free access to the temporary gym or to use any of the District Council's other gyms in Bakewell, Matlock and Wirksworth.
There's a two months' extension for Annual Cash Pass members, and fitness classes at Ashbourne will be free to all Gym and Fitness Freedom D
direct debit and Annual Cash Pass Members during the revamp.
Chairman of the District Council's Community Committee, Councillor Jennifer Bower said:
"The temporary inconvenience will be well worth while and it's terrific that we have once again fought hard to win external cash to give Ashbourne Leisure Centre a welcome boost. There's much to look forward to for regular and new users in the coming months."
- For further information contact Ashbourne Leisure Centre on 01335 343712 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.