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Turf cutting marks start of work on Plymouth’s new Life Centre

3 Feb 2010

Plymouth City Council Leader Vivien Pengelly and Neil Sherreard, Divisional Managing Director for Balfour Beatty, have cut the first turf on the site of the city’s new Life Centre on the 3rd February 2010.

The turf cutting marks the start of work on the multi-million pound leisure facility following the signing of contracts with the construction firm on Monday 1 February.

Councillor Pengelly said: "This is such an exciting day for the Council and for the people of Plymouth, who have waited a long time for a top-class sport and leisure facility to be built in the city.

"The Life Centre is our biggest ever investment in leisure facilities and we are proud of the hard work that has gone into ensuring it will benefit people of all ages and all sporting abilities. It will offer something for everyone, from training sessions for our most talented sportsmen and women to beginners' fitness classes; from mother and toddler swimming lessons to disability bowls.

"We look forward to seeing work start on what is one of the city's most eagerly awaited and exciting projects in many years."

Balfour Beatty is one of the world's largest construction companies and is already involved in a number of sports and leisure projects including the London 2012 Aquatics Centre for the Olympic Delivery Authority, the completed Sunderland Aquatic and Wellness Centre for Sunderland City Council and the Victoria Park swimming pool complex in Hong Kong for the Hong Kong Government.

Its contract will also include the demolition of the Mayflower Centre and Central Park Leisure Pools when the new Life Centre opens in 2011, as well as the forthcoming demolition of the skate park (which is being replaced with a new one nearby).

Neil Sherreard said: "The ceremonial turf cutting marks the end of a long road and the beginning of a new one. All the plans are now in place and we are looking forward to working on a facility that will provide a wide range of leisure activities for everyone in Plymouth to enjoy. Very shortly the city will start to see the long awaited Life Centre leisure complex literally coming to life."

The Life Centre is designed to meet the city's sporting needs well into the 21st century and will offer affordable sessions aimed at increasing participation in sports and improving the overall health and fitness of local residents. Providing a regional facility of this quality is also key to wider regeneration plans for Central Park and will help to attract further investment into Plymouth.

Work on the centre is scheduled to be completed in September 2011. The Mayflower Centre and Central Park Leisure Pools will remain open until building work is complete.

-ENDS-

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