| The gym is part of a £1.3 million investment in leisure centres in Powys, Wales now run by not for profit trust Freedom Leisure on behalf of the county council. |
Brecon Leisure centre is undergoing a £485,000 refurbishment which has seen the former 10 pin bowling lane ripped up and replaced with a new 52 station state of the art gym.
Sports stars Dan Lydiate and Rob Davies officially opened the gym. Rugby international Lydiate, said he was impressed by the facilities.
“In the climate we live in you open the door and it’s 6am and bucketing down and you’d rather put the kettle on so it’s good to have these facilities.
“It’s good there are 90 kids a week coming for classes rather than sat at home on the Xbox. Powys doesn’t have a lot of stuff like this.”
Paralympic gold medalist Rob, from Brecon, who regularly trains at the leisure centre told guests about his experience winning wheelchair table tennis gold at last year’s Rio Games. “The leisure centre and the college have been a massive part of my development.”
Jeremy Wroe, Freedom Leisure’s head of operations for the Wales and the west, since the new gym was completed in early January usage has increased by 84%, meaning around 4,000 people used it last month.
He said use of the Powys centres, which Freedom Leisure took responsibility for in July 2015, has increased with visitors to the centres up 152% in January compared to the same month last year.
Powys council chief executive Jeremy Patterson said the partnership with Freedom Leisure had been a “big step into the unknown” for the council.
“We liked the feel of Freedom and liked their vision and what they said they could bring. There was a degree of nervousness and to see how it played out and thus far it’s working successfully.
“We’re really pleased the numbers using the centre are going up and up and up.”
The council’s most senior official said he used to bring his children and their friends to the 10 pin bowling alleys which have made way for the gym. He said: “It was getting old and needed some TLC and we have to move with the times and respond to what the customer wants.”