After 10 months of construction, Newark and Sherwood District Council’s £3m five-lane pool at the Dukeries Leisure Centre is finally up and running.
The Mansfield-born four-time Olympic medallist, who brought home two Golds in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, marked the occasion by taking the first swim in the new pool, accompanied by children representing Ollerton and Boughton’s Junior Town Council.
The construction of the new 20m x 10m pool was led by the council’s project partner, ReCreation. It is fully accessible with a traditional hoist as well as a ‘Poolpod’ - a multi-award winning swimming pool lift, originally developed for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.
The pool has its own unisex changing village and spectator area, in addition to the existing fitness suite, sports hall and exercise studios located in the main building.
Taster sessions were held for everyone at the weekend and more are being arranged for primary schools before the summer holidays ahead of school swimming in September. Lane swimming, parent and toddler sessions and family fun activities are also set to take place daily.
The pool has adjoined the existing leisure centre building run by the district council’s own leisure company, Active4Today.
Customers using the Dukeries will now access the centre via a new and more accessible entrance between the original building and the new pool extension.
Councillor Roger Jackson, Chairman of Newark and Sherwood’s Leisure and Environment Committee, said: “After a very difficult year, we are immensely proud and excited to open the doors to our new pool. This is another milestone project for the district council that will do a great deal for the health and wellbeing of the residents of Ollerton and the surrounding communities.
Andy Carolan, managing director of Active4Today, said: “We are really excited by the opportunities this fantastic new resource will provide. This not only includes people just wanting to drop in and have a swim, but also our regular members from Dukeries, Newark, Blidworth and our partner site Southwell, who will also be able to use the great new facility, inclusive within their existing memberships.
Adrian Turner, director of recreation said: “We are so proud to offer this quality, bespoke, affordable facility. It’s been a fantastic journey seeing Dukeries Leisure Centre come to life from the initial design, to now opening our doors to the local community – We’re sure this facility will be enjoyed for years to come.”
Rebecca Adlington said: “It’s been great to come down and see the new pool in action. Having access to these facilities is going to make a real difference to local families, giving them a place to stay active, teach their children how to swim and socialise after such a difficult year.”
The pool project has gained support from Sport England, which committed a capital grant of £250,000 from its Community Asset Fund dedicated to enhancing spaces in communities that give people the chance to be active.
Sport England Director of Property, Charles Johnston said: “The new pool at Dukeries Leisure Centre will be a great boost to the local area and encourage the community to get in the water.”