Ground breaking celebration for new Epping Forest fitness and wellness centre
A new fitness centre for the Epping Forest community is officially a step closer after a symbolic ‘breaking ground’ event.
The state-of-the-art sport, fitness and wellness centre will be the result of an £8 million investment by New City College and is set to open in 2023. It will include modern, well-designed facilities for a whole range of wellbeing activities. It will be enjoyed by the college community and the general public, in direct response to requests and needs of local people.
Gathering to mark the occasion were representatives and councillors from Epping Forest District Council and Loughton Town Council including Mayor Cllr Barbara Cohen alongside key contacts from the college. Professionals from the design and construction company Neilcott were also on hand to answer any questions. Guests were also treated to afternoon tea prepared and served by NCC catering students.
Standing on the site of the new centre, Loughton Town Mayor Cllr Barbara Cohen opened the proceedings, saying: “Congratulations to you for this wonderful project which I hope will be a great benefit to all your students and the residents of Loughton.”
Epping Forest District Council Chairman Mary Sartin continued: “I would like to thank the college for engaging with the community and local stakeholders on the development of such a wonderful facility. Over the past few years we have all come to understand how much physical activity can help with our mental wellbeing. I hope this will encourage students and residents to engage with fitness, whether a cardiovascular workout or a stroll around the park. I look forward to seeing it develop.”
Cllr Sartin also thanked the college for the development of the Adult Hub at Epping Forest. The college is currently seeking local people’s views on the adult courses they would like to see offered by the college. Cllr Sartin welcomed the increased opportunities allowing people of all ages to realise their full potential and also supports the council’s agenda of boosting skills for jobs.
Group Principal and CEO of New City College Gerry McDonald said: “This is a major investment by the college which I hope says that we are absolutely for, and of, this community. We welcome this partnership with you which will deliver an outstanding resource for everyone.”
Principal Narzny Khan thanked stakeholders for gathering for the breaking ground event. “Thank you for sharing with us the very start of this wonderful resource for the whole community and being with us on this journey.”
Facilities at the new centre will include:
- Large sports hall for team and racquet sports
- Fully equipped gym, including Olympic-standard free weights section
- Dance and fitness studio for yoga, cardio, Zumba and many more classes
- Treatment room for sports therapies and treatments
- High quality changing facilities
- Café with views over an open park, open to members and the general public
- Wheelchair accessibility across the entire building
The centre will also provide new opportunities for New City College’s sports and fitness students to work and train in the professional industry environment, which is being built just across the road from the Epping Forest campus on Borders Lane in Loughton.
Working with the council, the college has pursued sustainable options for the development wherever possible. The centre will be built on land that has been earmarked for a community sport and fitness centre for several years. The merger of Epping Forest College and New City College has now made this possible.