Green light from planners for £30m Craigavon leisure centre

Craigavon’s new state-of-the-art £30 million leisure centre plans have been given a seal of approval by the local planning authority

PLANNING permission has been granted for a new £30 million leisure centre in Craigavon, seven years after the proposals were first put forward.

The multi-million pound leisure development has been given the green light by the the local planning authority, with construction due to start early next year and operational in 2020. It is anticipated that more than 500 jobs will be created during the construction phase, delivering an estimated £6.5 million in annual wages to the Northern Ireland economy.

First proposed in 2010 the development at the site of the existing Watersports Centre is the biggest capital project ever undertaken by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and features an eight-lane, 50-metre swimming pool as well as one of the largest gyms on the island of Ireland.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Gareth Wilson, said the development will create a "world class" leisure centre.

“With planning consent firmly secured, work can now start to create a brand new, modern leisure facility which meets the needs of everyone, creating new and exciting opportunities for individuals, families, schools and sporting enthusiasts who can realise their fitness, lifestyle or professional goals in a world class facility that fully supports their needs.

“Full planning approval represents a tangible and rewarding step towards an official opening date and I'm delighted that this puts the project in delivery mode, ensuring that everyone – with all levels of fitness and ability – will soon have the opportunity they need to make a marked difference in improving their health ambitions in the best facilities available.”

The new centre will offer both indoor and outdoor leisure experiences. These include a 50- metre swinning pool, teaching pool, fun pool and spectator gallery as wellas state-of-the-art gym equipment, spin and dance studios, an extensive health and beauty suite, activity rooms, squash courts and a large sports hall.

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