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25 February 2019, 10:03
A new £26m leisure centre has opened in Dover, marking the culmination of a three year project to bring modern and accessible leisure facilities to the Dover District.
Dover District Leisure Centre which is on the White Cliffs Business Park in Whitfield features the first publicly accessible 8-lane county standard short course championships swimming pool in Kent, certified by Swim England.
The 25m x 17m 8-lane swimming pool includes starting platforms, automatic timing touch pads with an electronic scoreboard, and anti-turbulence lane ropes. With spectator seating for 250 people, the centre is a major new venue for competitive swimming in the county.
The centre also has a learner pool with a moveable floor which allows for the depth of the pool to be adjusted to meet a variety of uses, from parent and baby swim sessions through to use as a warm-up/down facility for competitive swimming.
Both pools are fully accessible and are the first in Kent to feature pool-pod platform lifts, pioneered at the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Wet-side facilities also include a sauna and steam room.
Alongside swimming, the Dover District Leisure Centre also boasts a Clip ‘n Climb interactive climbing arena with 16 different challenges. gym, aerobit fitness studios and two outdoor floodlit five-a-side 3G pitches.
Cllr Keith Morris, Leader of Dover District Council, said: "The Dover District Leisure Centre is truly fit for the 21st century and sets new standards in facilities, access, and sustainability.
"I would like to congratulate the project team who have delivered this amazing new facility. From inception to opening has taken just three years. I am particularly pleased that over 55% of the project’s order values were with Kent companies, and that the new leisure centre has created 40 new jobs in addition to the 78 who have transferred from the old leisure centre.
"Sport England has been instrumental in supporting us to deliver the Dover District Leisure Centre. Their expert guidance in the design, development and operation of the leisure centre, along with £1.5m in funding, has helped us to deliver one of the best leisure facilities in Kent.
"I also want to thank the many local people, sports teams and community clubs who have helped shaped the mix of facilities at the new leisure centre, a facility that we can all be proud of.”