New gym facilities at Wrexham’s largest leisure were officially opened this morning.
The long-awaited refurbishment of Waterworld is now fully completed ending five months of improvement works, which saw Wrexham County Borough Council invest £1.5m into the centre.
Waterworld, which is operated by Freedom Leisure on behalf of Wrexham Council, is one of several across the county borough to undergo improvement works.
The investment saw the expansion and refurbishment of the gym area, which is packed full of the latest kit and complete with an Omnia rig. It also features the Technogym Wellness Cloud system, which allows members to monitor their progress, tracking workouts on a personal USB stick which plugs into the many pieces of kit and has an associated app for people to hold on their phones.
There has also been change at the entrance to the centre, with the former reception area converted into a brand new, state-of-the-art MYRIDE indoor cycling studio – with virtual cycling software, offering scenic locations and a highly immersive cycling experience for personal and group training.
A new reception area has been installed, including a refurbished café and seating area selling Costa Coffee.
Finally the ladies ground floor changing rooms for gym users have also been refurbished to provide a bright new, modern space.
This morning saw the Mayor of Wrexham, Cllr John Pritchard, Lesley Griffiths AM, Mark Isherwood AM, Cllr Paul Rogers, Cllr Paul Jones, directors from Freedom Leisure and a giant trainer (!) on hand to formally cut the ribbon of the leisure centre’s new gym facilities.
Speaking ahead of the ribbon cutting, the Mayor of Wrexham said it was a ‘significant day’ for Wrexham.
Councillor for Maesydre, Paul Jones said he was “pleased to represent a ward with a flagship leisure facility” and encouraged people to use the centre.
Waterworld manager Richard Milne explained that since the new gym reopened to the public in August, there have been 431 new people take out memberships – averaging about six new joiners a day.
He added that 500 people have booked in since September to take classes in the centre’s new state-of-the-art virtual spin class studio.
Today’s grand opening marked the end of several months of refurbishment works which have been undertaken across all council-owned leisure facilities in Wrexham.
A total of £130,000 was invested into improving facilities at Gwyn Evans Leisure Centre in Gwersyllt and Queensway Stadium in Caia Park. 3G sports pitches have also been installed at centres across the county borough and dual-use facilities at schools have also undergone improvement works.
Funding for the works undertaken at the sites has been in partnership with Freedom Leisure and Wrexham Council, who secured a Sports Facilities Capital Loan from the Welsh Government, which is in place to help local authorities make improvements and increase active communities.
Andy Harris, Freedom Leisure Area Manager, said: “The opening was to formally mark the completion of work and hand the facilities over to the public, and we were delighted to have Welsh Assembly Members and local councillors join us. We are extremely proud of the new facilities, especially as the cycling studio and gym are now able to rival the best private gyms! Most importantly, users have already reported to us how happy they are with the enhanced facilities and offerings – which is excellent.
“We’d like to thank Wrexham County Borough Council for securing funding from the Welsh Government and for investing in this centre. Freedom Leisure is proud to deliver high quality, locally-focussed services and are committed to their ongoing development in support of the objectives we share with our partners. We are looking forward to welcoming many new members who we are sure will be attracted by the first rate facilities we have here!”
Cllr Paul Rogers, Lead Member for Youth Services and Anti-Poverty and with responsibility for Leisure, added: “These new facilities are absolutely fantastic, and I was very pleased to get the chance to tour the new additions to the ground floor at Waterworld.
“I’ve followed the capital works since becoming the Lead Member responsible for leisure and I’ve always said the pace of work has been excellent, but the ground floor area – particularly the new café and seating area – is completely unrecognisable even when compared with earlier in the works.
“I would also like to thank Cllr Hugh Jones, who was my predecessor as the Lead Member responsible for Leisure when the contract was signed with Freedom Leisure in the spring of last year.”