IT WILL be a late Christmas present for the people of Gosport, as the town’s new multi-million pound leisure park is planned to open on New Year’s Eve.
Work to replace Gosport’s crumbling old leisure centre has been rumbling on for the past year.
And now the council says it is able to predict a day for the centre to open – December 31.
The date is dependant on good weather while workers put the finishing touches on the site.
Leader of Gosport Borough Council Councillor Mark Hook said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted this prestigious project is nearing completion.
‘We’re looking forward to the official opening and will continue to work closely with DC Leisure in providing the residents of Gosport with these new and exciting leisure facilities.
‘With regards to the opening, we will be in a better position to give a definite date in a couple of weeks time.
‘But the aim has always been to open it before the end of the year, so watch this space.’
Once the leisure centre is open, work can start on construction of the nearby pub and restaurant.
Work will also begin on the town’s first chain hotel, a 60-bed Premier Inn.
All works on the site are due to be finished in the middle of the summer next year.
People have been without a swimming pool in Gosport since the old Holbrook centre was knocked down in June.
Jim Champion, 84, of House Farm Road in Gosport, said: ‘My wife and I have been going swimming there for years and we’re looking forward to getting back into it again.
‘Lots of us go three times a week and meet up – there’s a nice atmosphere.
‘Hopefully we can get that back again.’
Those behind the development say another announcement will be made next week to confirm the opening date.
Peter Kirkham, the development director for DC Leisure, said: ‘As residents can see, the new £7.8m leisure facility is moving at a pace with many of the areas either completed or nearing completion.
‘The target date for opening is December 31 but this is very dependant on weather conditions with the construction of the car parks and completion of the pool.’