The new multi-million pound South Lake Leisure Centre will open to the public on November 2.
The largest capital project to date undertaken by ABC Council, and among the largest in Northern Ireland, the new multi-use sports and leisure complex represents a major new flagship health and wellbeing destination.
Due to the current pandemic, and in line with government recommendations, work on the facility halted for a short time. Since returning to site Farrans, the contractor in charge of the build, has performed admirably to ensure the contract is completed in the shortest time possible – ready for opening in the Autumn.
Farrans has been spearheading the transformative build since initial enabling works got under way early in 2018, creating 500 jobs on site during construction as part of a project which has delivered at least £6.5 million in direct wages to the local economy.
Located at the south side of Craigavon’s balancing lake, the facility is a landmark venue for the area and is situated within a pre-existing network of walking and cycling paths covering around three miles.
The stunning new leisure centre will welcome visitors from across the borough and beyond to its new 50-metre pool, a young children’s indoor leisure water feature, a 1,000m2 state-of-the-art gym, multiple studios, health & wellbeing suite, sensory room, eight-court sports halls, spin studio, soft play area and an on-site café.
It also incorporates an outdoor water sports provision offering a wide range of water based activities including windsurfing, water skiing and paddle sports.
The scale of South Lake Leisure Centre has been future-proofed to meet the needs of a growing population and a raising demand from a range of leisure, amateur and professional sporting enthusiasts.
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Kevin Savage, said: “With a confirmed opening date just 14 weeks away, I am delighted that this stunning new centre – which will have fabulous facilities for everyone in the borough to access and enjoy – is almost complete.
“South Lake Leisure Centre provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform and dramatically enhance the quality of health and leisure provision within the borough, providing community access for everyone to the best facilities available in the UK and Ireland.”
The venue will provide a competitive range of flexible membership and customer schemes allowing easy and affordable access on a one-off or longer term basis, so that everyone can enjoy the new facility in a way that suits their lifestyle and budget.
As part of the preparations to pave the way for the official opening of South Lake Leisure Centre, interim arrangements have also been agreed for nearby leisure facilities in Portadown (Cascade Leisure Complex) and Brownlow (Craigavon Leisure Centre) to help ensure a seamless transition and accommodate staff training and orientation of the new centre.
Cascades Leisure Complex will be open to the public for lane swimming only in August, remaining open until Saturday, October 10.
Craigavon Leisure Centre will remain open to the public for gym only until Monday, October 12.
Waves Leisure Complex will be closed to the public. When all these facilities, which are approaching the end of their functional life close, leisure staff will begin their training at the new South Lake Leisure Centre building.
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• Sailing, paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, wind-surfing, open water swimming, banana boating, inflatable assault course
• Courses including water-skiing, wake boarding and sailing • Other outdoor activities include bicycle rental, climbing wall, archery
• 1,000m2 gym overlooking the lakes
• Dedicated GP referral exercise room with its own equipment
• TV screens on cardio machines
• Plate loaded weight machines
• Wide ranging strength and conditioning equipment
• Large functional training zone
• Gym floor based exercise classes
• Junior gym access available after school, at weekends and during holidays
HEALTH & FITNESS
• 44-bike group cycle studio with purpose built light and sound experience and virtual classes available
• Dance/fitness studio
• Over 50 classes per week including circuits, bootcamps, yoga and pilates
• 8 court sports hall pre-marked for basketball, netball, boccia, badminton, futsal and volleyball, bleacher seating for 120 spectators, and potential for 5-a-side football, gymnastics, cricket and archery
• 2 activity rooms overlooking the lake, suitable for meetings, birthday parties or small activities
• 2 squash courts
• 50m pool with state-of-the-art timing system, moveable booms (so the pool can operate as two 25m pools) and an adjustable floor depth, 200 spectator gallery and water polo competitions
• 17m training pool
• Leisure area (for children up to around age 8) with three fun slides and interactive water features
• Public lane swimming available at all times the pool is open
HEALTH AND WELLBEING SUITE
• Spa area with sauna, steam room, spa pool overlooking the lake
• Private treatment rooms
• Relaxation zone
• Nail bar
• Soft play area
• Sensory room with mood interactive lighting, bubble tube, wall projector and fibre optic curtain
• Large café area run by a social enterprise
• Disability Sport NI GOLD approved venue / Inclusive Sport Facility accredited
• Permanent poolside pool pods in 50m and 17m pools
• Dedicated changing areas to assist changing in multiple location in the centre
• Automatic doors throughout
• Easy online booking
• Fast-track card access – no need to wait queue at reception