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Deconditioned market is target for new Woodbridge fitness and wellbeing facilities

“Improving people’s choice of fitness and sporting activities is one of the main ambitions outlined in our business plan.”
– Terry-Jill Haworth-Culf

Suffolk Coastal District Council is investing in fitness and sports infrastructure to engage people from inactive populations.

Special facilities designed for the reconditioned market will be installed at Deben Pool in Woodbridge as part of a (US$3.9m, €3.3m) refurbishment.

Wheelchair walkways and a specially adapted toning suite aim to encourage older and less active people to take part in low impact exercise, as well as to assist with rehabilitation after surgery via GP referrals.

The new facility will also include a thermal suite with steam, sauna and an ice room, 50-station gym, dance and multi-purpose fitness studios and an area for group cycling.

The swimming pool at the centre will be refurbished to include a wheelchair accessible poolside walkway.

“Improving people’s choice of leisure and sporting activities is one of the main ambitions outlined in our business plan and this new facility will provide a massive boost to health and wellbeing in the local area," said councillor Terry-Jill Haworth-Culf, cabinet member for customers, communities and leisure – and a supporter of local health and fitness initiatives.

Designs for the leisure centre have caused controversy in Woodbridge, with local protest groups objecting on the grounds the refurbishment will not fit into the existing streetscape.

Local resident Jay Merrick, who is also an architecture critic for the The Independent, led the protests, but the scheme was passed by the district council planning committee, which also plans to refurbish leisure centres in Leiston and Felixstowe as part of a five-year plan outlined in the local leisure strategy in 2014.

Work on the centre is being carried out by Pulse Design and Build and once reopened in June 2018, the centre will be operated by Places for People.

Chris Johnson, Pulse Group managing director, said: “The project will see the existing site transformed to offer an experience which aims to engage the entire local community, with something for everyone.”

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Suffolk Coastal District Council is investing in fitness and sports infrastructure to engage people from inactive populations.
HAF
The thermal suite will include a steam room  / Shutterstock
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