Plymouth's £46.5m Life Centre opens

A new £46.5m sports centre has opened in Plymouth, Devon.

The Life Centre includes a 10-lane, 50m swimming pool, diving pool, multi-purpose sports hall, 15m climbing wall and bowling area.

It was formally opened by Plymouth City Council leader Vivien Pengelly, although it will not be open to the public until 24 March.

The sports centre will become the training centre for Olympic divers Tom Daley and Tonia Couch.

Before the opening ceremony, Mrs Pengelly said: "We promised local residents a centre of the highest quality and that is what they will get."

Image caption A fun pool replaces one at Plymouth Pavilions

It will also become an Olympic training base for divers and swimmers from Canada and Lithuania as well as competitors from Ghana's Olympic squad.

On Monday it was announced that the Olympic torch would visit the new centre on 19 May as part of theOlympic Torch relay.

Professor Richard Stephenson, from the Faculty of Health at Plymouth University, said: "This is a fantastic facility for the city.

"To think we have world class athletic and sporting facilities for the general public to take part in is a fantastic opportunity."

Central Park and the Plymouth Pavilions fun pool closed at the end of business on Sunday to make way for the new leisure complex.

About 50 people who work at the Pavilions will transfer to Everyone Active which is operating the Life Centre.

The Pavilions' ice rink will continue to operate seven days a week until at least September while the council looks for developers to buy the site and provide new ice skating facilities.

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