CONTRACTORS are on schedule to hand over the keys to Kirkcaldy’s new pool and sports centre this summer.
And the £15m Tolbooth Street facility is set to play a major role in regenerating the town’s High Street when it opens its doors at the end of July.
Officers behind the ambitious project believe the state-of-the-art complex will attract more people into the town centre during the day and in the evenings, giving the High Street a much-needed boost.
They spoke to The Press during an exclusive tour of the centre which is now entering its final phase of construction.
Andy MacLellan, sports partnership manager with Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, said: “We believe the facility will attract over 200,000 visitors a year and we think it will be a success for the town centre as a whole as people will also visit the High Street.”
Danny Cepok, Fife Council area services manager for Kirkcaldy, said: “If you get people coming into the town using the facility between tea-time and night time, this may encourage them to go into the High Street afterwards.
“It is this time when the High Street is at its quietest, so restaurants and pubs may benefit from the extra footfall.”
A ‘soft’ opening will take place on July 29 with an official launch due later on this year.
Construction is progressing well on the site with tiling about to start on the two swimming pools along with mechanical and electrical services being installed.
Neil Douglas, project manager with Graham Construction, said: “We will be starting work on the external facade within the next couple of weeks so people will start to see some colour on the outside of the building. Work will start on the front steps in mid-March.”
As well as the 25m swimming pool and a training pool which features an underwater movable floor, the centre will also boast a spectator area accommodating around 90 people, a 60-station gym, cafe, four-court sports hall, aerobics studio, childrens’ play centre, healthsuite including a steam room and sauna and a wet-change area.
But what will be the most impressive is the Centre’s stunning views of the Forth. Officers have been keen to make use of the facility’s waterfront location so people using the gym and cafe will be able to enjoy views across the water.
Members of Kirkcaldy Area Committee were also given the chance to visit the site on Tuesday to see how the multi-million pound complex is shaping up.
Neil Crooks, chairman, said: “I’m delighted to see work is continuing to progress.
“It’s great that we’re only months away from the facility opening its doors and it looks impressive even at this stage, with the brilliant outlook over the Firth of Forth. I’m sure local people are looking forward to having a new swimming pool and sports facilities.”
Michael Graham, executive chairman of the Graham Group, added: “I’m confident the community will look forward to making use of the leisure centre once it opens, especially when they see the tremendous view from the gym.”