A brand-new leisure centre, worth £28m, in Romford has officially opened its doors to the public. The project has been funded by Havering Council and is their largest single investment to date.
The new facility has been constructed by Willmott Dixon and forms a major part of Havering Council’s multi-million-pound investment to improve sports and fitness facilities in the borough. Everyone Active will be managing the new building, which will fall inside its existing contract with Havering Council. The sports and leisure provider has 30 years’ experience of managing leisure facilities across the country, making it the longest-established leisure operator in the UK.
The centre, is named after the sapphire reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-ever serving British monarch and the first to celebrate a sapphire jubilee. It offers a wealth of facilities aimed at getting people in the borough to improve their health and wellbeing through activity. It is now also home to Havering’s only ice rink, meaning the London Raiders can now return to play in Romford.
Other facilities at Sapphire Ice & Leisure include:
- Eight-lane, 25-metre main pool;
- 15 x 8-metre learner pool with adjustable floor;
- Pool-side spectator seating;
- Sauna and steam room;
- 100-station fitness suite;
- Dedicated group-cycling studio;
- Group exercise studio;
- Ice rink with capacity for 1,200 skaters;
- Rink-side spectator seating for up to 1,000 people;
- Skate hire area;
- VIP viewing area;
- Two cafes.
“We’re delighted to have officially opened Sapphire Ice & Leisure,” says Everyone Active Regional Director, Duncan Jefford. “This is a really exciting development for the area of Havering and we are proud to bring such top-class facilities to the community. We look forward to supporting the council in their vision to improve the health and wellbeing of the local community.”
Councillor Roger Ramsey, Leader of the Council said: “It was an honour to open this long-awaited facility, named after the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. This project has been at the forefront of this administrations ambition and I’m very happy that thousands of residents join us to celebrate the opening and that they were all impressed by the facilities available at Sapphire Ice and Leisure. I hope that all residents across the borough make good use of this complex to help maintain and improve the health and wellbeing.”
Sapphire Ice & Leisure was opened to the public on 3rd February by Everyone Active Sporting Champions Ambassador Colin Jackson. He was joined by five-time British Skating Champion Graham Newberry and two-time British junior champion Kristen Spours who were on hand displaying their skills. Former X-factor winner and Dancing on Ice Star Ray Quinn also joined in on the action as part of a day of free activity for the public.