The City of Lincoln Council has officially begun work to refurbish Birchwood Leisure Centre in Lincoln.
Redevelopment works costing £1.5 million (originally valued at £1 million) will include a new children’s soft play area, climbing wall and a state-of-the-art spin studio.
New facilities also include a toning tables studio and larger fitness gym, with scheduled works due to be completed by the end of the year. The revamped gym will be complete and opened in October.
Gym facilities are expected to remain available throughout the duration of the work.
The move also leads to the loss of the Birchwood Social Club, as well as the centre’s squash courts and sports hall. This proved controversial when plans were announced and more than 450 people signed a petition against the loss of the club.
The council has said that by modernising the leisure centre, it can reduce the management fee paid to sports and physical activity charity Active Nation, which manages both Birchwood and Yarborough Leisure Centres, creating savings for the council and taxpayer.
Councillor Donald Nannestad, Portfolio Holder for Recreational Services and Health at the city council, said: “We have been working with Active Nation for some time to come up with plans to revitalise Birchwood Leisure Centre and it’s brilliant to see work begin on site to deliver these exciting improvements.
“The modernised leisure centre will provide fantastic new facilities for Lincoln, and offer something for everyone all under one roof, creating more opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to get active.
“Exercise and physical activity play an important role not just in keeping healthy, but also in helping people in other areas of their lives. The new café will also provide a space for people to socialise.
“This is a significant investment by the city council in its aim to bring health benefits and opportunities to our residents and other leisure centre users.”
Stuart Martin, Active Nation’s Managing Director added: “The investment in Birchwood Leisure Centre will create a much more exciting exercise experience for the local community to enjoy. There are less than ten Les Mills Immersive Studios in the UK, and it’s like nothing you have experienced before!
“The new soft play area and climbing walls will allow us to bring more fun into our exercise proposition and create an inspiring environment for children to play and be active. We can’t wait for the launch!”
Contractors Alliance Leisure arrived on site today to begin a schedule of works due to be complete by the end of the year.