HUNDREDS of thousands of people have poured through the doors at Gosport Leisure Centre.
And now it has been named as one of the top centres in the country, according to an industry body.
The centre, which opened in late 2012, is run by the firm Places of People Leisure along with district authority Gosport Borough Council.
Industry body Quest has rated the centre, off Forest Way, as excellent – landing it in the top 15 per cent in the country.
Stuart Urquhart, manager, said he was delighted the centre was recognised as one of the best.
He said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to achieve excellent.
‘This is great for our customers, and a testament to the hard work and effort of everyone involved at Places for People Leisure.
‘Over the first year of operation we were pleased to host in excess of 400,000 visits from across our community.
‘We are looking forward to the centre continuing to expand its range of programmes and activities for local residents over the coming months and years.’
The centre opened in part on December 31, 2012, but the swimming pool did not open until a few weeks later as dodgy tiles held up the opening.
But all that is in the past as Quest judged the centre’s standards, practice and customer service to be on top form.
Deborah Herridge, 46, from Lee-on-the-Solent trained in the centre’s swimming pool ahead of a cross-Solent swim.
She said: ‘Before I got into the sea in April I was in there every week.
‘It’s a really good pool, everybody is really friendly.
‘It’s got state-of-the-art facilities.’
Deborah also trains at the pool with Gosport-based triathlon group, Bayside Tri.
Mark Hook, leader of the council, said the staff at the centre have worked hard.
He said: ‘Congratulations to everyone at Places for People Leisure.
‘It is their hard work which has achieved such excellent results.
‘It is the constant high standards they maintain which ensures the services they deliver to the public are always first class.’
The £7.8m facility has a pool, gym and sports pitches.
It was operated by DC Leisure before the firm was acquired by Places for People Leisure.