'WE will have a first class leisure facility in Uttoxeter' a council chief has announced as a town forum heard it should be open early next year.
Councillor Robert Hardwick and Mark Rizk, of East Staffordshire Borough Council, met with members of the Uttoxeter and District Forum 50 Plus to discuss developments with Uttoxeter Leisure Centre and plans for it to be open in January, although an exact date is not yet known.
The meeting heard that Uttoxeter will have a brand 'new' leisure centre with the pool 'changed out of all recognition'. It will have 128 spectator seats running along the whole pool, a new roof and windows and has been completely re tiled.
There will also be a link building from the sports hall to the pool with a new foyer with a cafeteria, replacing the old vending machines.
The centrepiece of the whole centre will be the new fitness facility which Mr Rizk, who is development manager, said will cater for all sports and it is hoped will attract young people back to the Oldfields Road building.
It will also have a dance studio that will act as a mult-iuse area with new changing areas for both men and women so they can get changed with their children as well as a changing places facility which will be fully integrated with equipment for people with disabilities.
Mr Rizk said: "It will be a very attractive and welcoming building. We are looking to reopen in January but we cannot be more specific at the moment and we need to put things back in and get the staff up to speed."
Councillor Hardwick said: "You have really going to have a good leisure facility in Uttoxeter and it was worthwhile going after Meadowside (in Burton) as we have learned things from that and brought it over here."
However, it was revealed there would not be bowls facilities for the older people to enjoy after one of the forum members inquired about it, saying she has been trying to bring the sport to Uttoxeter for 14 years but the members are still having to travel to Cheadle.
She was told the mats would not fit in the new sports hall as they were too long.
The prices to use the centre are available from the council's website and are inline with the Meadowside in Burton, which the council officer said means residents will not be paying more to use the new equipment.