The new Queens Park Sports Centre was officially unveiled today (Thursday, January 7).
District council, health chiefs and other dignitaries attended the launch event, including a tour and demonstrations by some of the centre’s users.
And attendees enjoyed a show of great show as MP Toby Perkins and leader of Chesterfield Borough Council John Burrows were given a run around the ping-pong table from one of Chesterfield’s young sports stars.
Heralded as a modern, state-of-the-art centre, Queens Park has been described as something to be proud of, as it will cost around £800,000 less per year to run than it’s 1960s predecessor, and has already attracted a huge customer base.
Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for town centre and visitor economy said who led the councils project to deliver the centre, said: ““Today is a proud day for me, the council and the people of Chesterfield.
“With this new centre and the healthy living centre at Staveley. We’re able to offer our residents two modern, state-of-the-art facilities kitted out with the latest equipment.
A big thank you to Council staff and all of our departments. Staff have worked around the clock an through the Christmas period to make sure this sports centre was opened.”
The centre has been made possible by funding of £6.725 million from Chesterfield Borough Council, £2.5 million from Chesterfield College, as part of a partnership agreement, £2 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Strategic Facilities Fund and £25,000 from England Squash.
And in a close partnership with the local college, the centre will be a major resource for a new ‘Health and Wellbeing Academy’, on the site, being used to teach students in a number of sports-related diplomas.
Stuart Cutforth, Chesterfield College principal said: “The college has not only invested £2.5 million on its students, it’s invested it on our local residents.
“It’s a learning zone and hub which can be used as a learning accelerator.
“We have fantastic teachers in the Sport and Well-being Academy and they’ll fully utilise the facilities at the centre.
“It will provide a significant paradigm shift in the way our learners learn.
“It really is a game changing opportunity.”
And as well as the college, midwifery services are now also provided at the centre, furthering the philosophy of being a multi-use building.
Charles Johnston, Property director at Sport England, said: “You can be proud of this facility it is as good as anything in the country. To see that co-location, working with the college, with the community, with health, is exactly the sort of thing we’re trying to promote.
“We’ll continue to work with this team to make sure their ambitious plans come to fruition - to promote this for other people whoa re thinking about this journey and are saying the alternative is closure, because that’s the easy option. This is the more difficult option but that return on investment is phenomenal.”
Officers took us for a tour of the facility, already packed to the rafters with dance classes, swimmers and people working out in the gym area.
The centre’s high-tech card scheme integrates the whole gym as you swipe onto each machine, counting every rep on the weights, and every metre you run on the treadmill so you can track your progress over time.
And soon it will also incorporate a mobile phone app so you can track your workouts outside the gym as well.
Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council John Burrows praised officers for delivering the project and said the centre was already attracting many customers.
He added: “Membership getting into this place is already beyond the targets that originally they set for themselves.
“It’s a clear demonstration of the one council we in Chesterfield are trying to achieve.”
An eight-lane main swimming pool
An eight-court sports hall
80 station gym
Activity studio with latest active technology
Two glass back squash courts
Three training rooms
‘Freedom’ climbing walls
‘Village’ style changing facilities