Celebrities confirmed for ‘posh’ grand opening of new £15.5m Kirkby Leisure Centre

A number of celebrities have been confirmed for Ashfield Council’s ‘posh’ grand opening of the new £15.5 million Kirkby Leisure Centre in September.

By Andrew Topping
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 8:36 am

The authority will open the new facility to the public on August 6 before a weekend of events is held between September 16-18, marking the official opening.

Now the council has revealed at least five celebrities have been confirmed for the September event, including a number of medal-winning athletes.

They include Ashfield’s own Paralympic gold medal-winning swimmer Ollie Hynd, Commonwealth gold medallist swimmer Ross Davenport and multi-time gold-medallist hurdler Colin Jackson.

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Swimming star Ollie Hynd.

The event will also include former Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Ola Jordan and football freestyler Ben Nuttall. All will appear on Saturday, September 17.

The news was confirmed in papers published ahead of the latest council cabinet meeting, with Coun Rachel Madden, portfolio holder for leisure, revealing more celebrities will be revealed in the coming days.

Once open, the new facility will feature a 25-metre, four-lane swimming pool with a moveable floor and splash zone. It will also include five ‘clip-and-climb’ walls, a soft play area, main hall, 85-station gym, group fitness studios, a health hub, café, sauna and steam room, meeting room and sensory room.

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An artist's impression of the finished Kirkby Leisure Centre.

Coun Madden, who described the September 17 opening party as the ‘posh’ event, said the ‘real star’ of the show will be the pool.

She said: “We can’t wait for the celebrity-endorsed opening. We’re hoping to attract people who wouldn’t usually go to a leisure centre.

“Of course, the real star of the show will be the pool. This is something the people of Kirkby have been promised since 1935.

“It is going to be amazing, from the pool to a sports hall with bleacher seating to hold cinema events, a state-of-the-art gym and much more.

Coun Jason Zadrozny, Ashfield Council leader, and Theresa Hodgkinson, council chief executive officer, beside the clip-and-climb wall.

“We can’t wait to show off the centre.”

The news comes as the authority also makes progress on a new learner pool at Hucknall Leisure Centre, which is expected to open to the public next spring.

The new facilities are part of a wider £22.5m leisure investment by the council, which includes the new Kirkby centre alongside a raft of improvements to Sutton’s Lammas Leisure Centre and other parts of the facilities in Hucknall.

Gigures published by the authority have confirmed membership numbers at its three leisure centres have risen by 35.42 per cent since the start of the pandemic, with 7,723 memberships valid now, compared with 5,703 in 2020.