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Big rise in swimmers taking the plunge in Witney

Swimming pools at Witney's Windrush Leisure Centre are being used almost 30% more than a year ago.

The rise in the number of swims at the Windrush comes as latest usage figures show almost a 5% increase overall in attendances to the District Councilís leisure centres in the past year.

Between January and March 2007, there were 16,919 visits to the Windrush swimming facilities - 3,853, or 29.5%, more than during the first quarter of 2006.

The increase follows an extension of the leisure centre last year, funded by the District Council, and the opening in September of modern new pool changing rooms and a new reception area. Attendance has also been boosted by 'Children Swim for £1' offers during school holidays run by Wycombe Leisure Ltd (WLL), which manages the Council's leisure facilities on its behalf.

Diana Shelton, the Council's Head of Leisure and Tourism, said: "The new changing rooms have been a great success and we have received positive feedback from many swimmers. The work was carried out as part of a significant £10 million capital investment programme by the Council in new leisure facilities, which started in 1998 and has also included new leisure centres in Carterton and Chipping Norton."

Carterton Leisure Centre opened in 2003 and Chipping Norton in 2002. Attendance is increasing at all three Council-owned centres. Between April 2006 and March 2007, there were 747,919 visits to the leisure centres - 33,251 more than the previous year.

Carey James, Contract Manager for WLL, said: "It is extremely encouraging that the hard work and capital investment made by Wycombe Leisure Ltd and West Oxfordshire District Council has resulted in increases in the number of visits to leisure centres. There are significant further investments and improvements planned for 2007 and beyond, and we believe that this will ensure the trend continues. Exercise has never held such a high profile, both locally and nationally, and our leisure centres aim to provide safe and enjoyable opportunities from which all the community can benefit."

Posted : 18/04/2007 12:07:59

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