A new multi-million pound leisure centre will open its doors in New Addington after Christmas.
The New Addington Leisure and Community Centre in Central Parade is nearly completed and will be open for business on January 3.
It has been a long time coming for people in the area and was originally supposed to open back in 2018.
It has cost £28 million, £10 million more than expected when it was approved in 2016.
The new leisure centre includes a large community hall, which can be split into two, with capacity for 300 people, with a kitchen, bar, and storage rooms.
There is a 25-metre swimming pool as well as a smaller learner pool, with a mixed-gender changing room with cubicles for each pool.
And there is a separate Changing Places fully accessible toilet which includes a hoist and adequate space for a disabled person and a carer.
New Addington Leisure Centre will be cashless, with customers paying to swim or use the gym by card only, as well as using a bank card to get a token for the swimming pool changing rooms for 25p.
In the first few months, Better, which will manage the facility, said it will be possible to use cash to buy a voucher to access the gym and pool to help people get used to the idea.
A new gym is fully decked out with modern equipment and separate changing rooms.
Centre manager Nick Englefield said: “My favourite part is the gym. We’ve got such a wide range of stuff that it is going to be open to everyone. It is not just going to target one type of user.”
Upstairs there is a sports hall which will be used for basketball, football and badminton and will be available to be rented by different groups.
And as well as 15 instructor-led classes on offer in the studio gym, members will be able to choose from about 100 classes on touch screen outside, with a virtual instructor in a big screen in the room.
Downstairs in the reception area there will be a cafe with seating. Only healthy food will be served at the leisure centre, including in the vending machines.
Councillor Oliver Lewis, Croydon council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport and New Addington South’s ward representative, said: “I can’t wait for the people of New Addington and across Croydon to get in and start using it.
“For many years New Addington felt that the council didn’t invest in the area.
“But this is a state-of-the-art facility and it is probably going to be one of the best and biggest leisure centres in London. That is what New Addington deserves.”
There are also eight town houses which are being built as part of the redevelopment which front Chertsey Crescent at the back of the leisure centre. These are expected to be completed in February.
The opening times of the leisure centre are 6.30am-10pm.
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