A sports complex that’s undergoing a multi-million-pound transformation and is due to reopen this summer has been given a new name.
Work began in March last year to transform the site and build a state-of-the-art leisure centre.
Once complete, it will have two pools – one used for children and featuring a flume, wave ball pool and beach area – plus another for lane swimming and lessons.
This is alongside a fitness gym with room for exercise classes and children’s parties, plus family and accessible changing rooms.
One of its key aims is to also provide more child-friendly services and further opportunities for young people across the Medway Towns.
The development, which is being carried out by Willmott Dixon Construction Limited, is due to be completed this summer.
The site opened in the 1970s and Splashes was built on what was a former quarry next to it, opening in May 1990.
However, Medway Council has now confirmed the title of Splashes will be replaced by Cozenton Park Sports Centre – named after the adjacent park next door to the site.
The park itself is named after nearby Cozenton Farm - almost 18 acres of which was turned into parkland after the land was bought by Gillingham Borough Council.
Medway Council says the decision to change the name from Splashes has been done to reflect both its geographical position in Medway and the fact it is new.
It comes after the last two major sports centre developments have been named Medway Park and Watling Park Football Centre.
Speaking in the autumn, the council’s portfolio holder for heritage, culture and leisure, Cllr Harinder Mahil, said: “I was pleased to recently visit the site of Medway’s new sports centre and see how the works are progressing.
"As well as providing all residents with the opportunity to access excellent swim and gym facilities right on their doorstep, children and families will be able to visit this fantastic centre to have fun whilst becoming more active."
Meanwhile, Willmott Dixon director Adam Worrall added: “It is fantastic to be reaching the topping out stage of the project.
"We are excited for the borough to enjoy a great leisure facility, which is sustainable for the future and provide a place to bring together the community.”
Work on the building reached a major step in September when the last beam was installed to complete the building’s frame.
The facility has been designed to be thermally efficient, have electric vehicle charging points and be powered mainly by solar panels to reduce running costs by more than £30,000 a year.
It will also result in carbon emissions being 72% lower than a typical sports centre.
However, after the decision to demolish Splashes was made in June 2021, the local authority announced the project would cost a total of £5 million to carry out.
In October 2022, it was then reported spiralling costs had left the unitary authority considering the future of the scheme and whether to borrow another £7m.
This meant the total expected cost of the build has now come to just under £25m – £20m more than estimated when plans for the initial refurbishment were first brought forward.