A healthy future beckons for our Ashbourne Leisure Centre after the ribbon was cut on a £60,000 upgrade of the fitness suite there.
The re-opening of the centre's pool - closed since a serious blaze broke out last July - is only weeks away, as is the unveiling of a new open plan changing village, built with a £175,000 contribution from Sport England.
Funders, councillors and staff looked on as the Chairman of the District of the Derbyshire Dales, Councillor Carol Walker, officially cut the ribbon on the fitness suite extension at midday on Friday (5 December).
"Our thanks go to Derbyshire Sport for their invaluable assistance in helping us to find the external funding for this upgrade from Derbyshire County Council's 'Aiming High' fund, to Matrix Fitness for providing new accessible gym equipment and, most of all, to the leisure centre staff, who have been through a torrid few months since fire devastated the building last summer.
"I am confident that users old and new will be thrilled by the new equipment in what is officially now an Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) accredited centre, working towards the excellent standard, giving better access, equipment and environment for people with varying disabilities, including wheelchair users. I would urge anyone who hasn't seen the new facility to book a tour as soon as possible."
The new fitness suite has been extended into the former gym lounge, where a wall has been taken out and the area redesigned to leave a small corridor outside the centre's community room.
The upgrade also includes new flooring with visual walkways, more mirrors and an additional air conditioning unit. The whole gym has been redecorated and previously blocked windows have been opened up to let in natural light.
Three TV screens in the old fitness suite have been replaced with brand new modern screens, the stretch area has been extended from two stations to five, while a new designated free weights area now has two benches. Old dumbbells are being replaced with new kit ranging from 2.5Kg – 30Kg and there is also a new barbell and squat rack.
Other innovations include a new treadmill, recumbent bike and upright bike - all Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) approved, which means they are designed for easier use for disabled customers. They all have colour-controlled raised icons, the treadmill has visual and audio feedback for visual or hearing impaired users and the bikes have wider pedals with heel straps.
A condition of the external funding grant meant the cash had to be spent and the project completed by the end of December this year – and work started on 10 October.
Re-opening special offer! Pay by Direct Debit (from £19 a month) or take out an Annual Membership (from £190) and get December FREE. The earlier you join, the more you save. See our membership details or visit our leisure centre reception for further information and a tour of the new facility.
- Anyone wanting a tour of the new fitness suite can email email@example.com or call 01335 343 712.
Derbyshire Dales District Council has also replaced the following strength equipment:
- Multi station functional trainer
- Chest Press
- Leg Press
- Seated Leg Curl
- Seated Row
- Shoulder press
- Leg Extension
- Lat Pulldown
All are IFI approved, which means all adjustments are coloured coded, they have bigger seat pads for more support and the seats move out to allow wheelchair access.