HERE is the first look inside a new leisure centre which is expected to bring a huge rise in visitor numbers.
Development bosses say 500,000 visitors will pass through the doors of the new Gosport Leisure Park every year.
Workers are still hammering away at building the £7.2m centre in Forest Way.
It will replace the town’s crumbling old Holbrook Recreation Centre when it opens later this year.
Yesterday, The News was invited to tour the inside of the new building which will be operated by DC Leisure.
Peter Kirkham, the development manager for DC Leisure, said: ‘We estimate half a million visitors a year will use the new centre.
‘The old centre had about 200,000 a year when it was in its prime.
‘The opportunities for local people will be enormous.’
Mr Kirkham said the project could be used as an exemplary scheme by Sport England for being cost effective and of a high quality.
The indoor pools have now been constructed and the walls inside the building are in place.
The next stage is to tile the changing rooms and prepare the pools for tiling.
The old Holbrook centre had around 40 members of staff, while the new one will have around 70.
Everyone who worked at the old leisure centre has been invited to apply for the new jobs.
The leader of Gosport Borough Council, Councillor Mark Hook, said: ‘When I was first shown around the inside of the building I was wowed by the size of the centre.
‘I come round every six weeks and it’s amazing how much gets done between each visit.
‘When I was last here there were no walls and now it’s all there.’
The construction work is being carried out by contractors Willmott Dixon.