Harpenden Leisure Centre launch postponed due to COVID-19
- Credit: St Albans district council
The launch of Harpenden's new multi-million pound leisure centre on the edge of Rothamsted Park has been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The new facility was due to open on Monday, January 4. However since the launch date was announced Herts has moved into Tier 4, requiring all gyms and swimming pools to be closed.
After restrictions are eased the centre will open as soon as possible, although this may take some time to allow for staff training and further checks on equipment and operating systems. A new opening date will be published as soon as it is decided.
The leisure centre, which is owned by St Albans district council, is managed on its behalf by its contractors 1Life.
Cllr Anthony Rowlands, portfolio holder for leisure, heritage and public realm, said: "It is really unfortunate that we cannot open on January 4, but I am sure people will understand that this is due to events outside of our control.
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“We have been building up to this New Year launch and I know that there was a great deal of excitement in and around Harpenden about this great new community asset.
“Reducing the impact of the pandemic is, of course, the country’s top priority and we are just going to have to wait a bit longer before we get the all-clear to finally open the doors.
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“Having toured the building several times, I know that people are going to be hugely impressed by what is on offer and feel that it was well worth waiting for.”
The new centre features a 25-metre-long swimming pool, a learner pool, an 80-station gym, a sports hall, two exercise studios, a spin room, a sauna, a steam room, a changing village and a café.
The council is also creating a new Harpenden Culture Centre at the site of the old sports hall in Rothamsted Park, which will be named The Eric Morecambe Centre after the comedy legend, who lived in the town before his death in 1984.
The centre, which features a 511-seat theatre, an exhibition space is scheduled to open in the late spring.
Speaking about both facilities, Cllr Robert Donald, portfolio holder for commercial, development and wellbeing, said: "It means that the residents of Harpenden and the surrounding area have something to look forward to once the pandemic eases."