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Guests gather to mark the opening of the Eastwood Leisure Centre 

Date: 

Wednesday, 20 October, 2021

Civic dignitaries and guests gathered on Saturday (16 October) to mark the opening of the new £26m Eastwood Leisure Centre in Sheerwater.

The Mayor of Woking, Cllr Liam Lyons, and former councillor, Ian Eastwood, who the new state-of-the-art sports facility is named after, unveiled a plaque at a short ceremony held in Sheerwater FC’s Club Room – the first official function to be hosted by the football club in their new multipurpose space.

Addressing the fifty guests in attendance, Cllr Ayesha Azad, Leader of the Council said: “It gives me great pleasure to be able to thank those involved in the delivery of this amazing building, and to welcome representatives of the various communities that I hope will benefit greatly from this £26m investment by the council.

“This is the first phase of the Sheerwater Regeneration Project to be delivered and it’s incredible to be able to say, on time and on budget, despite a global pandemic!

“All credit to ThamesWey, who brought forward the development and to Pellikaan Construction Ltd, whose sector knowledge and 70 years-worth of experience, kept the build on track.

“Pellikaan broke ground in July 2019 and ten months later, we had a watertight building. In February this year, Pellikaan handed over the keys to the finished leisure centre and our Freedom Leisure colleagues have done a fantastic job adding the finishing touches and kitting out the building with the latest equipment.

“It’s great to see the building in use today. Even before the doors opened to the public, there was a lot of interest in the centre, particularly from clubs and groups wanting to make the Eastwood their home. And I’m told by the Freedom Leisure team that they’re processing an average of 20 membership sign-ups per day. Nothing could please me more.” 

Community bookings are already up to 120 hours per week and within two weeks of doors opening the Freedom Leisure team signed-up 300 new members. Whether using the gym, swimming or participating in a class, an estimated 2,100 young people are now taking part in an activity at the Eastwood Leisure Centre each week.

Trying lots of different activities and having fun was the advice four times Olympic medal winner, Liam Heath MBE, had for young people today. Born and bred in Guildford and a member of another Freedom Leisure operated venue, The Spectrum, Liam was among the honoured guests at the unveiling. Speaking to guests he extolled the virtues of having access to good quality, affordable leisure facilities, whether for training or exercising.

The Eastwood Leisure Centre is the council’s third leisure facility in the borough and the second adjoining a large secondary school. The level of provision and breadth of offer across all three sites is unprecedented for a local authority.

Facilities at the Eastwood Leisure Centre include:

  • 25 metre pool with viewing gallery, steam room and sauna.
  • Teaching pool with a moveable floor, hoist and privacy blinds.
  • Five-court sports hall.
  • 65 station gym with group cycling studio.
  • Full-size floodlit 3G football pitch with covered stand for 100 fans - home of Sheerwater FC.
  • Two new grass football pitches and a junior rugby pitch.
  • Cricket square and cricket nets.
  • Multi-purpose function room with bar facilities, which is available for community hire.
  • Ground floor café.
  • Accessible facilities and disabled access throughout the building.
  • Car park with disabled parking bays, electric vehicle charging points and bicycle storage.

To find out more and to review the expanding programme of classes and activities, visit freedom-leisure.co.uk/eastwood. There are a range of membership packages and concessionary rates available and Woking Leisure Centre, Woking Pool in the Park and Woking Sportsbox members can upgrade to a Freedom Leisure Connected Membership to access the new facilities at the Eastwood Leisure Centre.