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Milestone reached on landmark leisure venue

Work to create one of the biggest leisure centres in London reached a milestone this week with the completion of the steel frame that will eventually house Waltham Forest Leisure Centre.

Council Leader Chris Robbins and Cllr Ahsan Khan, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, helped mark the occasion by screwing the final bolt into the huge steel structure, in Chingford Road, on Thursday 22 October.

Scheduled to open in autumn 2016, the modern, two-storey building, which has a footprint measuring 5,500m2, will be the borough’s premier state-of-the art sport, health and fitness facility – and one of the largest leisure centres in the capital.

It will boast a range of facilities including a 25m, eight-lane competition pool, teaching pool, four-court sports hall, an activity room/studio and a soft play area for children.

In addition, visitors will have access to an extreme sports zone with a climbing wall, dance studios, a new gym and changing facilities and both wet and dry health and wellbeing spa areas. The centre will also have 1m and 3m diving boards and an outdoor floodlit artificial sports pitch.

Cllr Khan said: “Waltham Forest Leisure Centre promises to be the jewel in the crown of the Council’s ambitious multi-million pound leisure centre investment programme.

“Once finished, it will be a landmark leisure venue for residents and visitors to the borough alike – rivalling the biggest and best leisure centres in London.

“And most importantly, we hope the many different facilities on offer will draw in people of all ages and of all levels of fitness – providing a perfect environment for them to get active, healthy and happy.”

Based on the increased number of visitors that other re-developed leisure centres have seen, the Council believes the new Waltham Forest Leisure Centre could see an extra 175,000 visits per year.

While the new leisure facility is being built, the running track, which benefitted from reconstruction and resurfacing work last year, remains open.

The creation of Waltham Forest Leisure Centre is part of the Council’s multi-million pound leisure centre investment programme, which has already delivered newly-refurbished centres in Chingford, Leyton, Leytonstone and Walthamstow.

Leyton Gym reopened in 2013 and now boasts a 100-station gym and a spacious free weight and fitness area. The nearby Leyton Leisure Centre has a new 25m pool, teaching pool, water flume and aqua play features, a new reception, changing rooms and two studios.

The former Cathall Leisure Centre reopened in October last year as Leytonstone Leisure Centre. It has a fully refurbished 25m main pool, teaching pool and poolside sauna, a new reception with fast track entry, two-court sports hall, 100-station fitness suite, a soft play area, multi-purpose room, a refurbished studio and brand new changing areas for all activities.

Chingford Leisure Centre offers a 45-station gym, 28 group exercise classes every week, a 25m six-lane swimming pool and a smaller children’s pool. Walthamstow Leisure Centre (formerly Kelmscott) was refurbished and re-opened in 2013. It is now home to a fully-equipped gym, refurbished changing rooms and toilets, a red crumb pitch for sports and a new reception.

All of the centres with swimming pools – Leyton Leisure Centre, Chingford Leisure Centre and Leytonstone Leisure Centre – subscribe to the Council’s free swimming offer for under 18s, over 60s and residents with a disability.

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