Council gets keys to new leisure centre

THE keys for a new leisure centre in Desborough have been handed over to Kettering Council.

The building in Ironwood Avenue was constructed as part of the town’s new Grange development.

The council is fitting it out with carpets, lockers and equipment and hopes to open the doors to the public within the next month.

Cllr Steve Bellamy, portfolio holder for leisure at the council, said: “People will soon have the most modern and purpose-built sports centre in the whole of the Kettering borough.

“I know that the local residents have been watching this new centre being built with great interest.

“I am very pleased that it is now belongs to the council and so it won’t be long until people can start to use this fantastic new facility.”

The new centre will be operated by Parkwood Leisure Ltd and has a large sports hall, a fitness centre and a multi-use games area.

Outside is a children’s play area, BMX and skate area and 22 hectares of public green space.

The play area will be opened over the next few days after routine checks.

Residents had protested at plans to close the Hawthorns Leisure Centre, which will close its doors for the last time when the new centre is officially opened.

A group of locals even offered to run the old leisure centre themselves, concerned that the new building would not provide the same level of service, but this was rejected by Kettering Council.

There will be a drop-in weekend in May for the public to have a look at the new centre.

Further information will be published on the council’s website, www.kettering.gov.uk.