CHANGING facilities at a sports centre are getting an eco-friendly makeover with help from money secured from a developers building houses in the area.

The changing rooms date back to the 1980s at Abbey Sports Centre in Berinsfield.

They will be refurbished and modernised with work beginning on February 13.

Environmentally friendly measures such as energy efficient LED lighting will be installed, as well as eco-friendly hand-dryers and new toilet flushes and showers that use less water.

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The cost of the work is more than £130,000, which will be project managed by South Oxfordshire District Council.

The money will partly come from funds paid by developers which have built homes in the area – known as section 106 funding. 

As local schools regularly use the centre under a joint use agreement, Oxfordshire County Council will also be contributing towards the project costs.

The authority has reminded customers that they may experience some disruption while the work is being carried out and they are advised to come to the centre ready to swim rather than changing on site if at all possible.

All updates on the progress of the work will be provided on the Better UK website, managed by GLL, the leisure contractor who runs the centre on behalf of the council.

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Councillor Maggie Filipova-Rivers, cabinet member for community wellbeing on the district council, said: “This centre is so important to the residents in Berinsfield and surrounding areas.

“To give it this focus and financial support, will not only enable those using it now to have a better experience but with the work taking place having the added benefit of helping us to tackle the effects of climate change, this centre really is focussing on the future, and it will be here for future generations too.”

Councillor Robin Bennett, cabinet member for development and regeneration and ward member for Berinsfield at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Projects like this are a good example of why the council works hard to secure contributions from developers.

“In this case, funds from development in the local area are being used for vital refurbishment for the much loved facilities at Abbey Sports Centre in Berinsfield, where generations of local residents have learned to swim.

“The health and wellbeing of our residents is so important to us, and we want to make sure that our leisure facilities are kept up to date for everyone to benefit from and enjoy.”

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For more information, visit the South Oxfordshire District Council website or the GLL website.


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This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Abingdon, Didcot, Wallingford and Wantage.

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