Huge investment in leisure facilities gathers pace

A multi-million pound investment in the district’s leisure facilities by Active Life, supported by Canterbury City Council, has taken a major step forward with the second of two projects scheduled for 2023 getting underway.

The first steps in delivering £600,000 of improvements at Whitstable Swimming Pool have begun with some preparation work to the outside of the building.

The work will deliver a brand-new dance studio at Whitstable for the first time and a larger, fully refurbished gym. This is scheduled for completion by early next year.

All areas of the centre will remain open and available for bookings while the outside work begins at the back of the building. Availability of parking will be slightly reduced during this time.

This project runs in parallel with the continuing circa £8 million refurbishment at Kingsmead Leisure Centre in the heart of Canterbury.

Preparatory work at this centre began in March and is progressing at pace with much of the outside demolition work complete.

The swimming pool is being kept open to enable much-needed swimming lessons and the popular group exercise classes are also being maintained. Work in Canterbury remains on course for completion in summer 2024.

Anthony Cawley, Chief Executive Officer of Active Life, said: “We are really excited to be working with the council to bring this significant investment to life as we deliver on our jointly-held ambitions to provide modern, first-class facilities the community can be proud of for years to come.

“We are really grateful for the support, understanding and patience of our customers and are working hard to minimise disruption, although we know the final result will be worth it.”

Cllr Connie Nolan, Canterbury City Council’s Cabinet Member for Community, Culture, Safety and Engagement, said: “It’s fantastic to see the council and Active Life working together on these exciting improvements that will benefit everyone that enjoys Kingsmead Leisure Centre and Whitstable Leisure Centre.

“This much-needed investment will breathe new life into facilities that have been enjoyed by thousands and thousands over the years and ensure many more people can benefit from them in the future.

“Getting fit, strong and healthy and then staying so is an ambition for many so it’s great we can provide the perfect place for them to achieve their goals.”

The transformation of Kingsmead Leisure Centre includes a new entrance, foyer and café area as well as a large new gym with a dedicated ‘Intencity’ studio (CGI pictured above).

Three new fitness studios and a health suite with a relaxing sauna, steam room and ice room, as well as significant improvements to the swimming pool and sauna will complete this stunning new development.

The swimming pool is remaining open throughout the project and alternative arrangements have been put in place for group exercise nearby, with more than 40 classes still available.

There is no gym or sports hall available while the work takes place, but members can access Active Life’s other venues using their existing membership.

For the latest updates visit the Active Life website and the Kingsmead Leisure Centre website.

Published: 8 August 2023

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