The new leisure centre – part of the Beswick Community Hub which has been developed in partnership with Manchester City Football Club and Sport England – opened Thursday, 30 October.
East Manchester Leisure Centre is one of three new leisure centres planned for Manchester with other new facilities at Hough End (opening in spring 2015) and Arcadia in Levenshulme (starting in November), aimed at improving health and leisure facilities across the city.
The new 35m by 21m community pool has a moveable boom that allows the pool to be split in two separate swimming areas giving the centre as much flexibility as possible. At one end a moveable floor also allows a range of depths between 0cm and 2m to accommodate a range of swimming abilities and programmes.
A new health and fitness suite will accommodate 70 workout stations and the dance studio completes the range of new indoor facilities aimed at getting local east Manchester people active.
The development continues outside with a range of new grass sports pitches including a new rugby pitch that will open in 2015 – again for use by local community teams and neighbouring schools.
The new East Manchester Leisure Centre will employ 30 full and part-time staff and will be operated by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL).
Part of the wider Beswick Community Hub, the leisure centre complements the new Connell Sixth Form College – which opened this September next door to the new leisure centre – providing swimming pool access to the college and local primary schools, St Brigid’s RC Primary and Ashbury Meadows Primary.
The 16-acre development will also bring a new a new public realm area that will be home to a world renowned public sculpture by international contemporary artist, Ryan Gander, which will be installed later this year.
The site sits within the Etihad Campus, which includes the City Football Academy, Manchester City’s new youth development and training centre continuing the long-term regeneration of east Manchester – including other nearby developments, such as The East Manchester Academy (TEMA) and the Beswick Community Library.
Cllr Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: “The city council has a commitment to providing top quality facilities that ensures residents have what they need to live healthy lifestyles to live longer happier lives. This is a top priority for the city council and new centres with state-of-the-art facilities are vital to support healthy outcomes for communities.
“This is what we have at the new East Manchester Leisure Centre – a community hub for all ages with incredible facilities.
“The Beswick Community Hub – along with adjoining Etihad Campus – has transformed east Manchester. The area is completely unrecognisable from the neighbourhood we can remember only a few years ago, and will be the thriving heart of the community.”
Mark Sesnan, Managing Director, GLL, “We very much look forward to launching the brand new East Manchester Leisure Centre, which will provide state of the art facilities for the local community, so that we continue to offer first class, affordable leisure and sporting facilities under our growing ‘Better’ brand. We also look forward to launching Hough End Leisure Centre in 2015 and Levenshulme next year also, so that we can help get more people active and improve sports participation across the city.”
Pete Bradshaw, Head of Infrastructure Develop / Corp Responsibility at Manchester City Football Club said: “Manchester City are delighted to see this fantastic new facility open its doors. East Manchester Leisure Centre will provide opportunities and facilities for the community that haven’t been available in the area before and it is our shared ambition with Manchester City Council that East Manchester should become a centre of sporting excellence for all – a place of good health and wellbeing and where sport and leisure is widely accessible.”
Charles Johnston, Sport England Property Director, said: “The right facilities in the right areas are fundamental in providing more people with the opportunity to play sport. Our £2 million National Lottery investment from our Iconic Facilities fund into the East Manchester Leisure Centre is building on the work we have been doing with Manchester City Council to identify the best to places for sustainable and cost-effective leisure facilities that meet the needs of local residents. I hope everyone enjoys these fantastic new facilities that will help them develop a lifelong sporting habit.”