Matlock’s long-awaited £12 million leisure centre will finally open its doors to the public on Wednesday, August 24.
And as the new facility is launched the town will also be saying good-bye to the Lido – which has served Matlock swimmers for 73 years.
Arc Leisure Matlock’s opening event will kick off a preview week where no advance bookings will be taken but people will be able to use the centre for the first time ahead of and during the bank holiday.
The project has been the biggest single development ever undertaken by Derbyshire Dales District Council.
Chairman of the council, Geoff Stevens said: “We targeted summer 2011 as the opening date and we’re on schedule, so our thanks go to all our staff that have been involved.
“I’m confident local people will be impressed by Arc Leisure Matlock – it really is a fabulous building in a fabulous setting and a superb response to what Derbyshire Dales residents told us was desperately needed in this area.”
The long-serving Lido, the facility Arc replaces, will close its doors for the last time at 5pm on Sunday, August 14.
Cllr Stevens added: “It’s our intention to celebrate the life of the Lido through photographs and memories over the coming weeks and months.”
Existing Lido members will have their membership automatically transferred to Arc Leisure Matlock, where one of the features is an eight-lane main pool with moveable floor that meets regional competition standards.
Also on the ground floor is a learner pool, a wet play area and a large full height sports hall that will accommodate regional standard badminton courts, indoor hockey, basketball, volleyball, five a side football, cricket practice and netball. Wet and dry changing areas are also located on the ground floor.
On the first floor is the main reception area, plus a cafe space, meeting room, spectator seating for the pool, a 50-station fitness suite, a community facility and a second sports hall, to be known as the ‘Studio’, that will accommodate gymnastics, martial arts, aerobics, dance classes and parties.
Looking forward to the challenge of managing Arc Leisure Matlock is Paul Blakemore, who has worked in the leisure industry since 1991.
He said: “It’s a breathtaking facility that befits its beautiful surroundings and I am aware and appreciate the hard work and dedication of the many people who have made this project a reality.”
The scheme on a reclaimed site between Matlock and Darley Dale is already an award winner after Arc was named the Most Sustainable Remediation Project at the Brownfield Briefing Remediation Innovation Awards last October.
The main contractor on the project, local construction company Morgan Sindall, and project managers Drivers Jonas Delloite will hand over Arc Leisure Matlock to the District Council by the middle of this month.
Send in your memories and old Lido photos by email to email@example.com or by post to Communications, Derbyshire Dales District Council, Town Hall, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3NN.