'Steel signing' ceremony at new Houghton Regis leisure centre as facility starts to take shape

The centre is being built on the former Houghton Regis Academy
Guests take a tour of the site. Picture: Rafe AbrookGuests take a tour of the site. Picture: Rafe Abrook
Guests take a tour of the site. Picture: Rafe Abrook

Houghton Regis’ new leisure centre is beginning to take shape, after it was pictured in new images released by Central Bedfordshire Council.

The authority organised a ‘steel signing’ ceremony to mark the framework in the construction of the facility.

After being awarded £20 million from the government’s Levelling Up fund, the council boosted the investment in the site with its capital funds and developer contributions. Construction work is being carried out by the council’s contractor, Morgan Sindall Construction, which have been working on the centre since March. The community and leisure centre will open towards the end of 2024.

It will have an eight-lane 25-metre pool, a learner pool with a movable floor to raise or lower the depth for swimming lessons and classes, and a separate shallow pool for new swimmers.The centre will have a gym with over 100 stations, two squash courts, a spinning bikes studio, and multi-use exercise studios.The building will have a public café, community spaces, a creche and changing places facilities for disabled visitors. Outside features include a children’s play area and a fitness trail.As part of the project, a 238-space car park will be built with electric vehicle charging points, motorcycle parking, accessible parking bays, and cycle parking. Cllr Rebecca Hares, executive member for health and community liaison, said: “This steel signing ceremony is the celebration of a major milestone in a project that will bring huge benefits to people in Houghton Regis and across Central Bedfordshire.

"It’s recognition of our commitment to providing top-quality sports and leisure facilities, supporting active lifestyles and promoting good health and wellbeing.”Emma Curtis, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We are thrilled to be reaching this milestone today at the Houghton Regis Community and Leisure Centre development. Working in close partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council, this transformational project will become the heart of the community, engaging local people and promoting healthier lifestyles and increased wellbeing.

"It’s great to see the positive engagement we’ve had so far with local residents, alongside offering both employment and apprenticeship opportunities.”