The Royal Borough's new state of the art leisure centre at Braywick is set to open on Saturday - but you will have to book to be among the first people to visit it.

Braywick Leisure Centre has been built to replace the ageing Magnet Leisure Centre and boasts bigger and better features than its predecessor, all while using 70 per cent less energy than the Magnet. It will host sports, arts and cultural events.

The centre will be run - along with the Royal Borough's other leisure centres - by Leisure Focus, the new charitable trust founded earlier this year.

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Owing to the Covid-19 crisis visitors must book in advance to visit at or by calling 01628 685333.

Key features at the centre include a ten-lane swimming pool, large training and splash pools, a 200-station gym, large sports hall, improved accessibility for disabled users and sports teams, and 430 parking spaces with six electric car charging points.

There is a new café with indoor and outdoor seating, six outdoor courts for netball or tennis, along with a new all-weather football pitch.

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For those who are unable to walk, cycle or drive to the new centre, a 16-seater shuttle bus will operate regularly between the old Magnet site and Braywick from 9.15am to 4.30pm, which is free with a valid Advantage Card.

Councillor Samantha Rayner, lead member for resident and leisure services, said: “I am very excited and honoured that we will be finally able to open and share with all the residents the amazing centre that I’ve been working on as lead member since 2016. A huge thanks to the team led by Kevin Mist who have worked so incredibly hard to deliver this outstanding facility for our residents.

“It’s not only stunning inside and out but gives access to high quality sports facilities as well as the theatre space with professional sound and lighting. The cafe is a beautiful space to meet, eat and drink.

“I hope residents make this their new home for sport and social activities for many years to come.”