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Gym’ll Fix It
Thursday 7th July, 2011

Gym’ll Fix It
Andy Wiggans, Cllr Chris Ready and Brian Barritt at the new Profiles site.

He’s been pounding the streets on the campaign trail, he’s been slogging it out with the political heavyweights, but Cllr Chris Ready still feels he needs the gym.

And so, he’s signing up for the brand new Profiles Health and Fitness Suite, part of the stunning Wigan Life Centre in the heart of the town.

Cllr Ready, who has cabinet responsibilities for customers and leisure, says: “It’s an ideal opportunity to sign up and keep fit. I’ve discussed plans for this building and watched it come together with both the lads on site and the council’s senior managers who have worked hard to deliver this for residents.”

Cllr Ready met with the chair of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, Andy Wiggans, to put his name down as a member of the gym. The healthy living zone - gym, two large pools, a sprung dance floor and other health facilities - form the heart of the new building, which will also contain offices for local public services.

Andy Wiggans says: “This is an extraordinary triumph for our borough. From 27 August, locals, visitors and the whole community will have access to a state of the art site, one that in the present financial situation will be the sort of project we won’t achieve again in a generation.”

It’s taken ten years – and some choppy economic times – to bring the £217m Life Centre to Wigan. The buildings – two sites either side of the existing town hall - are virtually all funded from government credits and private finance. Wigan Council has contributed just over £2m to the project. The cost to bring the decaying former pool back to acceptable standards was on its own estimated to be over £1m.

The project has been delivered by construction firm Morgan Sindall. Brian Barritt, senior contracts manager, says: “Work has been progressing well on site and we’re now entering the final stages of fitting out. The new centre is a tremendously important facility for the people of Wigan Borough and it’s fantastic to see Cllr Ready at the front of the queue to use the new centre.

“We’ve enjoyed a particularly strong partnership with Wigan Council throughout the project and will deliver a high quality leisure facility both on time and to budget. We look forward to handing the centre over next month.”

Cllr Ready adds: “I’m proud of what we are achieving here – and I am sure everyone in the borough will agree that we have been tremendously fortunate to secure such an impressive site. I’ve signed up for the gym, as can anyone, either at their local leisure site, online at www.wlct.org.uk/Sport or by ringing 01942 488424.”

The other site of the Life centre – in the Wiend – is due to open in early January 2012. It will contain library and information facilities as well as a ‘one stop shop’, centralising local public and voluntary services in one easily accessible location.

Local Life Centres also exist in several communities – Ince, Atherton, Marsh Green, Platt Bridge and Leigh - and they all have modern hubs for information and public services staffed by friendly officers and packed with expert advice.

Cllr Ready says: “We are modernising public services – because people tell us that’s what we want, and because it is the right thing to do.”

For more information on the Wigan Life centre and the local life centres, visit www.wigan.gov.uk/wiganischanging

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