Tuesday, 11 May 2010

New Armley Leisure Centre ready for action





Caption: Images from the new Armley Leisure Centre including Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Cllr John Procter in the Bodyline gym

The final preparations are being made to the state-of-the-art new Armley Leisure Centre ahead of its opening next week.

The doors to the much-anticipated new centre on Carr Croft will open to the public for the first time at 7:15am on Tuesday 18th May, with the range of fantastic facilities including a stunning main 25-metre swimming pool, 10-metre learner pool, hydrotherapy pool, 100-station Bodyline gym, four-court sports hall, two-court sports hall, dance studio and a café, as well as a multi-use games area outside.

The new centre has been created as part of a historic joint £33m project overseen by Leeds City Council which represents one of the largest investments in sport and leisure facilities ever seen in the city. The second part of the project will see another new centre opening in Morley next month, with both ageing former centres having been demolished to make way for the brand new facilities.

Work began to construct the new Armley Leisure Centre in October 2008, with the project being managed by the Local Education Partnership with support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Sport England.

Extensive consultation work was carried out with the users of the old centre as well as all key stakeholders and community groups to ensure the new centre met the needs of the local community. A dedicated working group made up of a range of local people has also played a key role throughout every stage of the project.

Contractors Interserve created the new centre in two phases, the first being carried out on the field adjacent to the former centre which then closed in Summer 2009 and was demolished to allow the second phase to begin.

That work has now been carried out on schedule and the building is now ready for use as a major new public leisure facility to be used by the local community and beyond.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:

“We are absolutely delighted that the stunning new Armley Leisure Centre is ready to open. It looks amazing both inside and out and we are confident everyone who comes in for a look will be impressed and will want to try it out.

“We are sure it will be hugely popular and well used in particular by the local community, so we cannot wait now to get the doors open and for people to start using it. Lots of credit goes to the whole team overseeing the project, who despite all the recent problems in the building market have ensured this centre is opening perfectly on schedule. That is a great achievement and we think people of all ages are going to really like what they see.”

Corporate Director of Interserve Project Services Ian Renhard said:

“It has been a tremendous experience for us to deliver this leisure centre, the first ever non-education PFI project in the Building Schools for the Future programme. There has been total commitment from every member of the team to make this fantastic facility something we can all be proud of.

“Interserve is looking forward to building on our partnership with the local community as we assume responsibility with Leeds City Council’s Sport and Active Recreation Service for the ongoing operation of the leisure centre.”

The new Armley Leisure Centre will feature a varied fitness programme, with the Bodyline gym fitted out with the latest equipment and weights while there will also be 5-a-side football, badminton, gymnastics and basketball available along with a range of fitness classes on offer including dance and toning sessions, yoga and pilates.

There will also be the chance to hire the facilities at the centre for parties, while the swimming programme includes general swimming sessions, lane swimming, aqua aerobics, fun sessions, swimming lessons, parent and toddler sessions and free swimming sessions for anyone aged 16 and under or 60 and over.

On the opening day, Tuesday 18th May, the first 100 customers through the doors will receive a special commemorative gift while there will also be a celebratory cake for everyone to enjoy.

For further information on the new Armley Leisure Centre or to download the swimming and fitness programmes go to www.leeds.gov.uk/armley. The new centre can also be contacted from 18th May onwards by calling 0113 336 7880.

Notes to editors:

The Local Education Partnership works to assist in the delivery of education and leisure projects in Leeds. It is made up of Leeds City Council, the national Building Schools for the Future investment programme and private sector companies Interserve, Barclays Private Equity and Cambridge Education.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

China Olympic officials head up visits to Leeds


Caption: The Chinese Olympic delegation at Leeds Metropolitan University with left to right Keith Morris, Acting Director of Sport, Leeds Metropolitan University, Mr Shuyoung Feng - National Team Head Coach and Vice President of the China Athletics Association, Mr Zhaocai Du - Secretary General of the China Athletics Association and member of the Chinese Olympic Committee, Mr Fee - official of the China Athletics Association, and Peter Smith - Project Manager for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, Leeds City Council

Olympic delegations from China, Turkey and Slovenia have visited Leeds in recent weeks as they look over potential training bases ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Representatives from the Chinese Olympic Committee visited Leeds and Sheffield at the end of last month to tour facilities their leading athletes may use in the run-up to London 2012 should they choose Yorkshire as a training base.

The visiting party included Secretary General of the China Athletics Association Mr Zhaocai Du and National Team Head Coach and Vice President of the China Athletics Association Mr Shuyoung Feng.

In Leeds the group were given a tour of the facilities at the John Charles Centre for Sport and Leeds Metropolitan University, as well as visiting Roundhay Park which could be used for race walking training.

During their visit the Chinese were able to meet World Triathlon Champion Alistair Brownlee and UK Race Walking Champion Jo Jackson who are both based in Leeds.

Apart from the sporting and sports science facilities, the group were also shown the possible accommodation their athletes could use and were also guests of honour at a special civic reception hosted by the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Judith Elliott in Civic Hall.

The visit follows similar trips to the region by Olympic representatives from Turkey and Slovenia in April.

Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Judith Elliott said:

“The visit by the Chinese Olympic officials was very positive. We were delighted to welcome them to our city and their interest reflects the high quality of the sports training facilities, accommodation and ‘lifestyle’ which Leeds can provide. We look forward to our team continuing discussions with them as well as our other recent visitors from Turkey and Slovenia as they develop their pre- Games preparation plans for London 2012.”

Leeds and Sheffield have already secured an agreement with Serbia for their athletes to use the region as their training base ahead of London 2012, while the Dutch swimming team will be based at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds.

Leeds and Sheffield and City Councils are working in conjunction with Yorkshire Gold, the regional committee for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, to develop opportunities for Yorkshire in the lead up to the Games.

Yorkshire has already seen a financial benefit from international training camps and similar events held over the last three years, which has generated more than £1million for the region’s economy.

For further information on Leeds’ Olympic project go to www.leedsgold.co.uk, or to see how the Yorkshire region is gearing up to London 2012 visit www.yorkshire-gold.com.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472,Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk