A BRAND new leisure centre in Gosport will be open in time for the Olympics next year, as the go ahead was officially given by the council.
Holbrook Recreation Centre is in desperate need of redevelopment and councillors at Gosport Borough Council have now given it the green light.
The centre in Forest Way is in a run-down state. It will now be demolished to make way for the new leisure centre.
DC Leisure will start work next month and it should be open before the 2012 Olympics begin next summer.
The project will cost in the region of £6 million to complete.
Councillor Mark Hook, leader of the council, said: ‘We have been working hard with DC Leisure to get the optimum deal that we could with the maximum facilities.
‘We are delighted it has gone through and work will start in September.
‘We have always been consistent with that date.
‘We have always said it will be up and running for the summer Olympics in 2012 which is now less than a year away.
‘It will be a legacy for the people of Gosport. It’s something that we will have to remember the Olympics in this country.
‘I think with any big sporting event, people tend to rise to the challenge.
‘When Wimbledon is on there is an upsurge in tennis.
‘People will respond to that challenge and we are delighted that we will have 21st century facilities to meet those demands.’
The new centre will include a swimming pool, sports hall, health and fitness suites and some all weather football pitches.
The proposals will also include a four storey, 64 bed new hotel and a pub or a restaurant alongside the centre.
Cllr Hook added that the centre will enable a larger variety of sports to be played such as basketball and badminton.
‘It will open up a lot more sporting opportunities for people,’ he said.
‘That has to be welcomed. There will be that variety for people to enjoy.’
Cllr also noted the importance of redeveloping the centre which has been in a state of disrepair for a number of years.
‘Everyone recognises that the centre is old, tired and jaded,’ he said.
‘We need a brand new facility.
‘I am just delighted the facilities we have got are above and beyond what we have got now.’