April 28th 3.00pm
Abbey Road, Evesham
After years of planning, it’s officially open.
Before the actual opening, a few other things had been arranged. Above you will see the youth bus parked outside. This bus travels around the district and provides a venue for our young people who have no other place to congregate with their peers. It contains, a TV, computers, computer games, somewhere to relax and chat. It should be called the Tardis! particularly well used in rural areas of the district.
Inside, several of our middle schools were playing Dodgeball for the Wychavon Cup.
Mixed teams of boys and girls, seemed to get great pleasure out of whacking each other with a football.
The winning team receive their trophy.
Then onto the reason we are all here. Stuart Megarry, Chairman of Wychavon Leisure Community Association Ltd, says a few words
followed by yours truly. Here is what I said:-
Mr Mayor, guests, good afternoon everyone and thank you all for coming.
It gives me particular pleasure to be here today to celebrate the official opening of this building. A building that has had some controversy in it’s short life so far. There has been much discussion on the design, the colour, even the car park lights. Good design is more than just ‘good looks’. It means that buildings and spaces function, in a way that adds to the quality of life for all those who use and experience them. That is certainly true of this building. We recognise the importance of well designed buildings to the social, economic and environmental well being of our communities, buildings which respect and reinforce our local distinctiveness – but we do not want to shy away from new and exciting architecture which inspires our architects and the local construction industry – it is the mundane and the mediocre which we are striving to move away from. Mundane and mediocre have no place in Wychavon.
In general, those early critics of the external appearance, and I should say they were just as many who praised the revolutionary look, are coming round to the almost iconic structure.
What has never been in doubt are the facilities the leisure centre offers for the 21st century resident. First class swimming, a magnificent gym, dancing, beauty, keep fit, climbing, the list goes on. This centre is also a pop in and catch up centre for anyone to enjoy a coffee and meet with friends. This is a community building, a sort of large village hall with a health provision.
This has been a huge investment for Wychavon of some 11 million pounds. It shows the commitment Wychavon District Council has to it’s residents, who expect, quite rightly in my view, a high class service from it’s district council.
The excellence of construction is obvious and the high quality achieved is a credit to those who have been involved in the project since, in 2005, the original leisure centre was considered to be too expensive to keep maintaining. – To thank everyone here, now, would be impossible, however I would like to pay tribute to all those dedicated individuals and organisations including our Consultants, Architects, Builders, many of whom I am pleased to see here today, plus our own staff and Wychavon Leisure, who drove the project to finish on time and within budget. The building is a testament to everyone’s willingness to work together, to deliver a high quality building for the community.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, thank you again for attending today. I have every confidence this building will provide many people of all generations a happy and healthy experience for many years to come.
Stuart and I then preformed the plaque unveiling
and did a bit of posing with the plaque.