Fareham Leisure Centre unveils its £6.2m refurbishment with Olympic hero Declan Brooks on hand to cut the ribbon

WITH a brand new climbing area among its revamped facilities, Fareham Leisure Centre is now open once again after its £6.2 million refurbishment that residents say has been ‘well worth the wait’.

By Richard Lemmer
Saturday, 16th October 2021, 6:49 pm

Olympic BMX hero Declan Brooks and Fareham mayor Councillor Pamela Bryant cut the ribbon to open the new facilities at the complex in Park Lane.

Funded by Fareham Borough Council, the refurbishment sees the creation of a ‘Top Rock’ climbing area for children and adults, a soft play area for younger children, and an indoor splash pad which is suitable for those who require more accessible equipment.

The gym has now been extended with several pieces of new equipment, and improvements have been made to the existing facilities including the café, changing rooms, and reception area. Parking spaces for 32 vehicles have also been added to the site.

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Cutting the ribbon to officially open the newly refurbished leisure centre. Pictured: Councillor Louise Clubley (Mayoress of Fareham), Councillor Pamela Bryant (Mayor of Fareham) and Olympian Declan Brookes. Picture: Mike Cooter (161021)

And residents among the first attendees were impressed with the changes, saying the changes were a marked improvement.

Stubbington resident Phil Henshall, 34, who attended with his partner Nicole and their two children, aged four and three, said: ‘I would say it’s been worth the wait – it’s been worth the money.

‘They have done well.’

Nicole agreed: ‘I can see myself coming with the children in the future.’

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Declan Brooks, a Portchester BMXer who achieved a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics this year, said he hoped the improved facilities would encourage young people to take their sporting dreams to the highest level.

He said: ‘I used to come here when I was 15 or 16, with school.

‘Now coming back to open it is quite surreal. But it’s nice to see the local area has put their money into something good...I’ve looked around and it looks really good.

‘When you’ve got stuff like this there’s no excuses not to try hard and not do well, it would have been nice when I was a kid to have all this.’

The council’s lead for leisure and community, Councillor Sue Walker, added: ‘It’s like a brand new 40-year-old building, and every credit to Everyone Active.

‘We now cover every age range and every ability, which will mean now attract even more people to the building.’

A promotional centre membership price of £29.99 has now been made permanent, while the soft play area costs £5 an hour and the climbing area charges £15 for adults and £12 for children. The splash pad is free for any children under the age of five.

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