Take a look at town's new leisure centre after £1.5m refurbishment
A range of new facilities are now on offer at Haverhill Leisure Centre following the completion of a £1.5million refurbishment.
The nine-month project has seen a complete overhaul of the centre, including new changing rooms, an extended gym, a new self-centre, and a children’s soft play area.
Work at the centre, which took place over two phases, is now complete, and visitors have been pouring in to view the new facilities.
John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “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.”
The sports hall at Samuel Ward Academy has also been enhanced through a community use agreement with the Unity Academy Trust to enable better use by sports groups.
Abbeycroft Leisure, which manages St Edmundsbury’s leisure facilities, contributed £200,000 to the project.
Sarah Howard, chairman of Abbeycroft, 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-chairman of the British Chambers of Commerce, added: “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.”
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, chief executive of Abbeycroft Leisure, thanked 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,” he said.
“What we have now is market leading and something the town deserves.”