Haverhill Leisure Centre impresses users as it fully reopens following a major revamp
Haverhill Leisure Centre users have given the thumbs up to new state of the art facilities now on offer, following a £1.5m investment by St Edmundsbury Council.
The nine month project has seen a complete overhaul of the sports and fitness facilities, children’s play and café on the first and second floor, with additional activities and therapies on offer.
Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council said at Saturday's opening: “I was delighted to experience first-hand the terrific response to the new facilities.
"This is another investment in the success and future of Haverhill.
"I have seen and heard so many positive comments all confirming our choice of Haverhill as the first place in West Suffolk to receive this funding.
“With so much coming through now, it really feels that Haverhill is on a roll.
Sarah Howard, Chair of Abbeycroft Leisure, the not for profit organisation that manages St Edmundsbury’s leisure facilities, and which contributed £200,000 to the project said: "I was supposed to be there for half an hour and I stayed for three hours because it was just fantastic watching the families coming in and saying ‘Wow, just look at this’. And so many times the comment was ‘What a wonderful thing for Haverhill".
Mrs Howard, who is also Vice Chair of the British Chambers of Commerce, added: "And it’s fantastic to see more investment from St Edmundsbury in the area which is a really upcoming place to be.
"Haverhill is an exceptional town, it’s got a lot going for it, we’re in a fantastic location and I think the council is showing faith that we can build something this good and it will be supported.
"It really tells you something about the support that Haverhill is getting from St Edmundsbury Borough Council."
Cllr Jo Rayner, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Cabinet member for Leisure and Culture said" ‘I assure anyone who hasn’t visited yet that this is for them too.
"Our investment is in the health and wellbeing of the community and this offers something for everyone.
"The café is a very social place, the Self Centre offers therapies and gentle classes, and above all, a warm welcome when you are ready to start your own journey to being more active.
"And it is not just the leisure centre. The new floor we have installed in the sports barn at Samuel Ward Academy as part of the project is also increasing sporting capacity."
Warren Smyth, CEO of Abbeycroft Leisure thanked leisure customers and staff for their understanding and support during delivery.
"Haverhill has a great atmosphere and the relationship staff have with users has been crucial in making this go smoothly, to budget and on time. What we have now is market leading and something the town deserves."
On the completely overhauled first floor the new facilities include new changing rooms, an extended gym, super-sized studio spaces for an increased range of high demand classes including new virtual body combat, body pump and body balance classes
On the ground floor there is the Self Centre, brand new to Haverhill, and offering mindful classes in disciplines such as yoga, pilates, meditation as well as individual therapies by appointment, a new café, Energy, the children’s soft play area, with dedicated children’s party space, X-Height indoor climbing experience, parkours and two courts.
The swim facilities remain unchanged.
At the same time the sports hall at Samuel Ward Academy has been enhanced through a community use agreement with Unity Schools Partnership to enable better use by sports groups.