THE final stage of Blackburn’s new leisure centre complex is on target to open in spring well ahead of the original schedule, borough leisure boss Damian Talbot has revealed.

The £13.5 million complex’s water fun centre, gym and aerobics studio will open to customers in early March with an official ceremony later that month.

The 26-year-old Waves, which it replaces, will close shortly afterwards.


The project near Feilden Street, developed with Blackburn College, was originally scheduled to be fully open in the autumn but work has moved ahead of time table.

Last night Cllr Talbot told the Blackburn with Darwen Borough full Council Forum: “Work on the new sports and leisure centre is progressing well and completion is expected in March.

“The sports hall has been in use by the college since September and community groups from November.

“The first-floor facilities, the gym and aerobics studio are almost complete with final flooring finishes and decoration under way.

“Tiling to both poll tanks is complete and the main pool has received its 25-metre length certification.

“Most of the lockers and cubicles have now been installed.

“The commissioning of the plant, testing the flumes and building systems will take place over the last couple of months of the building contract.”

Work on the scheme, partly-based on Darwen Leisure Centre, started in September 2013 with a two-year-timetable.

The new swimming complex will halve running costs of the existing Waves complex leading to lower prices for users.

It will provide Blackburn College students and residents with new swimming pools, a larger fitness suite, a dance/ aerobics studio, sauna and steam room and eight games courts.

It includes the latest design yellow and purple fun flumes as the centrepieces of the swimming pool.

The two flumes will be at the heart of the Water Play Zone which includes a shallow water area and a range of moving water features to keep youngsters entertained.

The ‘speed’ and ‘family’ flumes will be a key feature, with the entrance boxes high up in the pool hall, before being routed outside the building on Nab Lane and coming back in to shallow ‘aqua-catchers’.

The demolition of Waves Water Fun Centre was confirmed in January clearing the way for Blackburn with Darwen Council to develop or sell the site.