Northern Ireland’s flagship public leisure facility will open to the public on 2nd November 2020 following a multi-million-pound investment.
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 10th October.
Craigavon Leisure Centre will remain open to the public for gym only until Monday 12th October.
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 in the new South Lake Leisure Centre building.