VIDEO: Dame Kelly opens new £16m Lammas Leisure Centre

OLYMPIC heroine Dame Kelly Holmes today officially threw open the doors to Sutton's brand new Lammas Leisure Centre.

The Dancing on Ice star, who claimed gold medal glory at the 2004 Athens Olympics, was greeted by hundreds of excited members of the public and circus entertainers as she cut the ribbon during the grand opening ceremony.

The state-of-the-art centre took around 18-months to complete and boasts a 25m-lane swimming pool, learner pool, two squash courts, a four-court badminton hall and a fitness suite.

The complex also includes a high-quality ice rink which will be the new home for the expanding Sutton Sting ice hockey club - and at the event it was also revealed that Kirkby is to get its own new swimming pool after a long campaign.

EXCLUSIVE: Kirkby to get a swimming pool

Speaking during the opening ceremony Dame Kelly said the facility would have a long-lasted sporting legacy on the district.

Said Dame Kelly: "It is a real pleasure to be here today. I have had a look around and am really impressed by what I have seen.

"This a fantastic facility for the area, there is something for everyone.

"The centre will really help people take up sport and I hope the public really comes out and makes the most of what they have on their doorstep.

"Having state-of-the-art leisure centres like this will really help the sports stars of the future to achieve their goals."

Ashfield District Council leader Jason Zadrozny also told the gathered crowds how the leisure complex was something for the whole community to be proud of.

"This is a massive investment for the area and shows the council is committed to improving facilities for local people," he said.

"The centre offers the best possible facilities and is also environmentally friendly. It will be the hub of the community and be used for many generations to come.

"The location is very accessible and I am confident people and community groups will flock to the centre.

"This really gives the area's upcoming sports starts the best possible chance of making it to the top."

As part of their drive to improve the district's flagging health levels council chiefs have also announced swimming will now be free for the area's over 60s from Monday and under 16s from next April.