- Friday, 24 August 2012 17:07
The Arc journey continues as the landmark Derbyshire Dales District Council attraction recorded 350,000 visits on its first birthday - Friday 24 August.
People poured through the doors of Arc Leisure Matlock once again as the District Council's successful development marked 12 months in business.
And at 12 noon - exactly a year to the minute since Arc first opened its doors - the first two people walking into main reception were met with a special gift of a basket of fruit each.
Ingrid Moore, from Fritchley, who was dropping in for a swim, has been using Arc from day one and often accompanies children from Middleton-by-Wirksworth School, where she teaches.
Andy Whittaker, who arrived on his bike from Matlock, has also been an Arc user over the past 12 months. He's also a regular through the doors as a member of Matlock Athletics Club, one of around 50 sports clubs that use the facility.
Arc staff member Becki Crofts baked a special birthday cake - featuring icing models of a swimming pool, weights, a gym mat and a running machine - to celebrate the first anniversary, and the £12-million centre was bedecked with Arc balloons. Youngsters also went away with a free goody-bag and punters who had bought into Arc's 'Discount Duck' swimming promotion were able to swim for free.
In fact customers have gone quackers about the Discount Duck to such an extent that Arc sold out of ducks on Friday - but more are on order.
Arc, new home to the Derbyshire Elite Swim Club, currently offers 40 different classes and teaches over 500 children. Earlier this year its eight-lane main pool with moveable floor hosted the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) Regional Championships and this summer Arc was one of only a handful of venues nationally to be chosen to trial a new ASA Swimfit programme.
Chairman of Derbyshire Dales District Council's Communities Committee Councillor Mrs Carol Walker said:
"Building Arc Leisure Matlock was a response to what the people of the Dales told us was desperately needed. We know how important health is to local people but the numbers that keep coming back to Arc have staggered even the most optimistic on the District Council. What a year!"