Countdown until doors open at new Down Leisure Centre

Countdown until doors open at new Down Leisure Centre

10 October 2018

THE new £16m Down Leisure Centre will open at the end of next month.

The stunning three-storey facility boasts a range of facilities which would rival any of those more commonly found in leisure complexes attached to five star hotels and has the “wow factor” Newry, Mourne and Down Council always promised it would have.

Stretching across 6,500 square metres, council officials have no doubt the futuristic building will be the envy of many and viewed as an exemplar for others.

The new centre features a 25 metre, six-lane swimming pool, a teaching pool with moveable floor, relaxation area with sauna, steam room and vitality pool along with a four-court multi-use sports hall.

There is also a fantastic fitness suite with an extensive selection of equipment with some items the first of their kind to feature in any leisure centre in Ireland. The new centre also has two multi-purpose exercise studios featuring hi-tech spinning bikes.

Council officials have this week set out the programme for closing the current leisure centre and opening its stunning replacement.

It’s anticipated that the existing leisure centre — which has long since passed its sell-by date — will close early next month. The new centre is expected to open three weeks later.

When the door closes on the current facility, which will be subsequently bulldozed to pave the way for the construction of an expansive new car park, staff will transfer to the new multi-million pound centre for dedicated training and induction.

Council officials are drawing up a programme ahead of the official opening to provide members of sports clubs and the public with an opportunity to sample what the new 21st century leisure centre has to offer and a chance to view its high-tech equipment.

It is hoped the new centre’s public launch will take place over the weekend of November 24 and 25 with full public access from November 26. These dates have to be confirmed.

During the transition from the old centre to its modern replacement, the public are asked to use the local authority’s nearby facilities at the Ballymote Health and Well-Being Centre in Downpatrick and the Newcastle Centre.

Council officials are delighted with the new centre, in particular, the new teaching pool which has a moveable floor. 

Over recent years, there has been increasing pressure on swimming classes at Down Leisure Centre.

Council officials are confident this will soon ease and are grateful to the public for their patience during the construction process.

There are miles of pipework and electric cables with the plant room — the new leisure complex’s nerve centre — resembling something akin to a science fiction film set.

Council director Michael Lipsett has described the new centre as a “fantastic building” which people will appreciate and enjoy. He said it will also be a pleasure for the local authority’s leisure staff to move to a modern building.

The senior council official said everyone associated with the new centre, from the designers to the builders and the councillors who supported it financially, deserve credit for the part they played.