A leisure centre built by the community is celebrating its 40th birthday.

Bollington Health and Leisure boasts a swimming pool, sports facilities and health spa, as well as providing facilities for community organisations.

It’s celebrating its 40th year of being at the heart of the community with events this summer.

Its 40 years is particularly significant because of the way it was created by the community.

Centre manager Tom Horsfield said: “It’s a well-known and successful community facility.

“But not many people realise that it operates as an independent charity and is managed by a volunteer board of management with assets controlled by a volunteer board of trustees.

“It was built by the people of Bollington for the people of Bollington and the centre has evolved greatly over the years after a period of vast uncertainty during the 80s as closure looked imminent.

“Thanks in the past to a lottery grant, funding from WREN and donations from both Bollington Town Council and fundraising efforts by both customers and staff, the centre has been gradually refurbished and extended from top to bottom over the last few years.”

It all started in the early 1970s when Social Services students from Manchester University undertook a project on behalf of the then Bollington Urban District Council to determine what social and leisure facilities residents wanted.

The overwhelming response was for a swimming pool and fundraising began.

There have been many changes over the years.

The swim change rooms was the first project to be undertaken with all new layout and fixtures and fittings.

The pool hall was decorated and new energy efficient lightbulbs installed and a new roof added. This was followed by a gym extension, the installation of a new filtration system in the pool plant room took place and the whole centre was redecorated and re-carpeted.

The latest project was the modernisation of the spa.

Tom said: “Future improvements include new energy-efficient lighting throughout the rest of the building and the new multi-use games area gives

fantastic sports facility to be used throughout the year.

“We will be holding events to celebrate 40 years in operation, which include 70s -themed fitness classes, a raffle and the

Bollington 10k on the August 27.”

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