First look inside leisure centre

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A brand new leisure centre will finally open its doors to the public next week.

After months of delays, the £1.6m Desborough Leisure Centre, in Ironwood Avenue, will be officially unveiled at 8am on Tuesday.

It is part of the development of the new Grange estate in the town and replaces the old centre at the Hawthorns, which will close on Sunday.

Cllr Steven Bellamy, portfolio holder for leisure at Kettering Council, said: “It’s a great honour to be able to deliver phase one of this brand new facility for the people of Desborough and the surrounding area.

“It has been a long process and we can finally open the doors of the most modern sporting venue in the whole of the borough of Kettering.

“Anyone who has visited will agree with me that this is an excellent recreational replacement with many sporting offers.

“Users will also see how phase two has been considered in the design layout for expansion plans to the rear of the building.”

The new centre was initially scheduled to open at the end of last year, but a hold-up over paperwork resulted in the building standing empty for several months after completion.

Residents had protested at plans to close the old centre and Desborough Community Development Trust had a bid to take it over turned down by the council last year.

This was despite a petition with 3,600 signatures on it in favour of the centre staying open.

The new centre has a large sports hall, a fitness centre and multi-use games area.

Adjacent to the building is a children’s play area, a BMX and skate area and green space.

An open weekend will take place at the centre from 9am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, May 12 and 13.