New pictures show work progressing at Halesowen Leisure Centre

Council bosses paid a visit to the site in Pool Road to see first-hand how the project is coming along.

Cabinet members Councillor Simon Phipps and Councillor Shaun Keasey were shown around by leisure centre manager Simon Cotterill.

As part of the work, a brand new reception, entrance and café area is being created at the site, while a new soft play area and catering facilities are being added where the learner pool used to be.

Gym facilities are being improved with the addition of new equipment and a toning suite. Facilities are also being made more accessible, with provision for a lift as well as the creation for the first time of a changing room for people with support needs.

The swimming pool remains open at the moment while work continues, with phase one expected to open later this year. The swimming pool and changing room improvements – which will see the current facilities removed and replaced with a changing village - are expected to be complete by Spring next year. Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member responsible for leisure centres, said:"Halesowen is my local leisure centre and the one that I use, so it was great to get the chance to have a little tour to see how work is progressing on the improvements. You can really see things starting to take shape now, and it will look fantastic when it is finished.

"The investment is part of the biggest outlay on leisure services in the borough for decades, with an £18 million brand new leisure centre being built in Dudley town centre and improvements also being made at Crystal Leisure Centre in Stourbridge."

At the Crystal Leisure Centre, the outdated changing rooms have been removed and completely remodelled with more family focused facilities and work has been undertaken to improve the experience for swimmers. New artwork adorns the slides in the leisure pool, which have been repainted, while a new beach style tiki hut has been put in poolside for when the popular Bondi Beat disco sessions return. The 25m pool has also been drained and refilled, with improved lighting installed.

The council has also taken the opportunity to address a backlog of repairs and maintenance items, as well as installing energy efficient lighting in a number of areas. This follows on from the installation of a £600,000 ground source heat pump and is one of the many ways the council is responding to climate change. 

The centre in Bell Street is expected to re-open next month. Councillor Shaun Keasey, cabinet member for digital, customer and commercial services, said:

"The revamp of Halesowen and Crystal leisure centres, and the building of a brand new state-of-the-art facility in Dudley, will transform the visitor experience for our users.

"People told us they were looking tired and in need of modernisation. We listened. Bright new entrances, café and soft play facilities, better changing rooms and improved leisure facilities are on their way to give our residents in this borough the first class leisure facilities they deserve."

As well as improvement in Halesowen and Stourbridge, work is well underway on the new £18.2 million 'Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre' in Dudley. The council has agreed to fund photovoltaic panels on the roof that will make the new leisure centre one of the most energy efficient around. The plans are part of a wider major regeneration programme bringing over £1billion investment to the town centre.

The new leisure centre will benefit from excellent public transport links through the forthcoming adjacent Metro stop and the nearby bus Interchange. The new facility will include a 25 metre, eight-lane swimming pool and a teaching pool with spectator provision. There will be a four-court sports hall suitable for indoor football, badminton and more.

The investment will also include a 100-station gym and fitness suite, two group exercise studios for a wide range of exercise classes and an immersive cycle studio, a first for the Black Country.

For families with younger children there will be a soft play area with catering facilities and a party room, and a café open to all users of the centre. And for those who want to relax after their workout session there’s set to be a sauna.

There will also be power-assisted gym equipment for specialist support which may be particularly beneficial for those recovering from injury, older customers and those living with long-term health conditions.

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