Villagers have been celebrating after the opening of a £800,000 sports centre which aims to support clubs and community projects.

The Wellesbourne Sports and Community Centre, which benefited from Section 106 funding and support from Wellesbourne Parish Council, already has 200 members signed up to its gym, with bosses hoping it will help inspire the new generation of fitness lovers.

Anne Prior, a director at the centre, which will be operated as a charitable trust, said: “We’ve had amazing backing from the community and have been very fortunate with the support the project has received from the parish council – without them this would not have been possible.

“We have already had tremendous feedback from residents and our future plans for the centre will help us support even more local sports clubs and community projects.”

Kevin Mitchell, partner for Leamington-based Blythe Liggins Solicitors’ commercial team, advised Wellesbourne Parish Council on establishing the trust which will run the centre and helped the negotiation processes for the contracts.

He said: “It’s extremely important to secure lease durations and costs which will ensure these valuable facilities can be enjoyed by the community in Wellesbourne for generations to come.”

The centre has also received funding from the Persimmon Community Fund, Tesco Bags of Help and One Stop Carriers for Causes, along with donations from local residents through a ‘buy a brick’ scheme.

The sports facility recently launched a fitness class schedule offering 20 sessions per week and offers a daily after-school table tennis club for youngsters.

By June, the centre will see the addition of two multi-sport areas and two tennis courts.

The charity hopes to secure funding this year to develop the upper floor of the centre to increase the facilities available to community groups.

Left to right – Kevin Mitchell, partner for Leamington-based Blythe Liggins Solicitors’ commercial team; Anne Prior, a director at Wellesbourne Sports and Community Centre; Tom Wheeler, gym instructor at Wellesbourne Sports and Community Centre/

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