Leader's column: Jewel in £20m leisure offer crown

In her latest Reporter column, Tameside Council's Executive Leader, Cllr Brenda Warrington, sings the praises of the new flagship Tameside Wellness Centre in Denton.

After a year of construction, the Denton Wellness Centre has opened its doors.

In celebration, in the first weekend of March we joined together with members of the public and those involved in the Centre’s creation for a fantastic opening ceremony.

Built on brownfield land, the state-of-the-art centre includes an eight-lane, 25 metre, competition swimming pool with room for 150 spectators and a learner pool; a spa area including sauna, steam and relaxation facilities; a fitness suite; and a ten-pin bowling alley.

Our vision for the Wellness Centre is also about creating a welcoming space for everybody, including people who might not ever think about walking into a leisure centre.

As well as the health and exercise facilities, the building contains meeting rooms, free Wi-Fi, a children’s soft play area and multi-use studio spaces. 

The foyer can be used as both a relaxation area and an event space, and even the roof has been transformed into a sensory garden and open air meeting area.

The Wellness Centre is the jewel in the crown on our multi-year, £20 million investment in Tameside’s health and leisure estate.

All of the facilities we’ve opened have their own commercial offer, allowing us to push against the tide of austerity to provide better services on a financially sustainable footing. But I think it’s important to say as well that the benefits of the Denton Wellness Centre go far beyond the financial return. The building’s also has incredible potential to encourage a healthy living revolution.

I’ve heard it said often that if exercise were a drug, every person in the world would be lining up to receive it and every doctor would be falling over themselves to prescribe it.

The father of modern medicine, the Greek Hippocrates, described exercise as “the best medicine”. 

He was right then and he’s still right now. Our own studies in Tameside show that significantly increasing our levels of activity could prevent 1,344 new diabetes cases, 60 new breast cancer cases, 21 new colorectal cancer cases and 73 new incidences of coronary heart disease a year.

By bringing together leisure and social activities, the Wellness Centre puts into our residents’ hands the tools they need to live longer and happier lives. 

We have an absolutely exceptional facility on our hands, and I am confident it will make a huge and lasting difference. 

A healthier and better Tameside is within our grasp.

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