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Sneak peek inside new £26 million Dover District Leisure Centre in Whitfield

Muscle men, work-out women and keep-fit kids will be able to get in shape when a new £26 million leisure centre opens next week.

A sneak peek inside the new Dover District Leisure Centre, set to open on Monday, reveals its new climbing frames and Kent’s first competition standard swimming pool.

The ribbon will be cut at 9am for the giant sports and fitness centre, which replaces the former Dover Leisure Centre in Townwall Street.

A sneak peek inside the new Dover District Leisure Centre

Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Dover District Council cabinet member for property management and environmental health and who has been chairman of the scheme's project advisory board.

He said: "This is sport for the entire district and here we have the first main events sports competition pool in Kent."

Centre manager Tony Crafer said: "We are excited to introduce people to this centre and it's been a long time coming.

"We are very keen to make sure it is successful for everyone."

Archie Fisher on the clip 'n' climb
Archie Fisher on the clip 'n' climb
The eight-lane pool
The eight-lane pool
The exercise bikes room
The exercise bikes room

The project goes back to spring 2016 when consultants were appointed to look at refurbishing the predecessor centre, which dates back to the Seventies, or building a new one.

It was concluded that it would be more cost effective to start from scratch.

That option was supported by 89% of respondents in a public consultation.

Construction for the new facility, at Honewood Parkway in Whitfield, took 72 weeks from end to end.

It features the first swimming pool in Kent to be purpose-built to Sport England specifications for a county standard competition swimming pool.

Archile Fisher, nine, in the clip and climb section
Archile Fisher, nine, in the clip and climb section
Cllr Bartlett at the eight-lane pool
Cllr Bartlett at the eight-lane pool
Dover District Leisure Centre manager Tony Crafer
Dover District Leisure Centre manager Tony Crafer

The 25m by 17m eight-lane pool includes starting blocks, timing pads, and an electronic scoreboard. It will have spectator seating for 250 people.

The 15m x 8.5m learner pool has a moveable floor to vary the depth.

Dry-side, the centre includes a four court sports hall, clip ‘n climb interactive climbing arena, a 120-station fitness suite and two multi-activity studios.

There will also be a spin studio, two glass-backed squash courts with spectator seating, two outdoor five-a-side football 3G pitches, a sauna and steam room, a café, and 250 parking spaces.

The centre opens eight days after the Townwall Street building closed to the public.

Bella Fisher on the clip and climb
Bella Fisher on the clip and climb
Bella and her brothers were among the first to try the new centre in a preview visit
Bella and her brothers were among the first to try the new centre in a preview visit

The intervening week was used for preparations to open the centre and for extra staff training.

During a preview showing today children of staff were able to visit the centre and try out equipment such as in the clip 'n' climb room.

Those given the chance included the Fisher siblings of Dover, Bella, six, Archie, nine, and Alfie, 11, plus Marissa Crompton, eight, also from the town.

The opening times of the new centre are 6am to 10.30pm Mondays to Fridays and 7am to 8pmweekends and bank holidays.

The Clip 'N' Climb facility for the new Dover Leisure Centre. Picture: Dover District Council
The Clip 'N' Climb facility for the new Dover Leisure Centre. Picture: Dover District Council
Personal trainer Tom Bowes demontrates the gym equipment
Personal trainer Tom Bowes demontrates the gym equipment
The reception area
The reception area

There are three main types of membership alongside a concession card, all with three-month contracts.

The first is premium membership at £34.99 per month.

This included unlimited use of the gym and classes, sauna and steam room and swimming sessions..

Swim membership is £19.99 a month andincludes unlimited, pool, sauna and steam room use.

Junior membership is £14.99 a month and is for children aged eight to 15.

This includes unlimited pool use. For those aged 11 to 15, it includes teen gym sessions.

There is also annual membership, payable in advance, for the swim and premium types.

For further enquiries contact the membership team on 01304 245355 or email jackfagg@pfpleisure.org

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