Huge steel shell shows scale of Gosport leisure centre

GOING UP The new Gosport Leisure Centre being built at Holbrook.  Picture: Steve Reid (121305-094)

GOING UP The new Gosport Leisure Centre being built at Holbrook. Picture: Steve Reid (121305-094)

Picture: Andrew Parsons

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THIS mighty steel structure will soon be home to Gosport’s new leisure centre.

The shell of the main building at Gosport Leisure Park already towers over the old Holbrook Recreation Centre, in Forest Way.

The £7.2m development will have a 25m pool, learner pool, fitness and dance studio and a play area.

Work started in February after a delay with legal contracts.

But now the foundations have been laid and the tall metal structure has sprung from the ground.

It is expected to have an outer wall and roof by the end of the month.

The leader of Gosport Borough Council, Cllr Mark Hook, said: ‘I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the building.

‘It really towers over the existing leisure centre.

‘When you see things like that on drawings it’s hard to visualise but to see the actual size and scale of it, it’s brilliant.

‘It’s an exciting project and something that we should be proud of.

‘I know it took longer than we anticipated to get started but now it has I am delighted with the progress.’

Outside the new leisure centre, there will be five-a-side and seven-a-side all-weather football pitches and parking.

The final phase will see the construction of the town’s first chain hotel, run by Premier Inn.

Then the old Holbrook centre will be knocked down and replaced with parking.

Cllr Hook said the construction firms behind the development have been employing workers from the town.

‘They’ve been using local labour, which is important to us,’ he added.

‘They are working to tight schedules and they are meeting them all.

‘By the end of the month it will have cladding on the outside and a roof.’

A number of activities are being planned to take part on the site of the new leisure centre to coincide with the arrival of the Olympic torch later this year.

Elaine Harris, 56, of nearby Turner Avenue, said: ‘I was quite shocked at how big the building was when I saw it go up.

‘But I think it will be lots better than the old one.

‘It will give young people something to do.’

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