The new swimming pool on Dallamires Lane in Ripon is now open for customers to enjoy, keep active and stay healthy.
To mark the opening, local Olympian Jack Laugher MBE joined Councillor Stanley Lumley to take a tour of the new facility that provides a six-lane 25metre pool, modern changing rooms, sauna suite and new main entrance with lobby area.
Born in Harrogate and educated at Ripon Grammar School, Jack became interested in diving during a visit to the Hydro in Harrogate and soon began to learn to dive through the Harrogate and District Diving Club.
Laugher made history at the 2016 Rio Olympics by becoming the first ever Olympic champion in diving for Great Britain, alongside 3m synchro partner Chris Mears, before following it up with an individual silver in the 3m springboard to make him the most successful British diver ever.
Success has continued for Laugher; achieving three gold medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, a bronze and silver medal in the 3m individual and synchro springboard events respectively at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju and a bronze medal in the 3m springboard at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In honour of Jack’s dedication to diving, the borough council wanted to rename the new and improved leisure centre the Jack Laugher Leisure and Wellness Centre to inspire others to follow their dreams.
Councillor Stanley Lumley, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, and chair of the board of directors at Brimhams Active, said:
The addition of the new swimming pool is a major development for Ripon and the surrounding area and shows our commitment to providing modern leisure facilities for residents across the Harrogate district.
Jack may not have had this opportunity if it wasn’t for his perseverance and determination, and the leisure facilities available in his hometown, so I am delighted that we have renamed the facility in Ripon after him.
I hope this new leisure and wellness centre, and our future investment at the Hydro in Harrogate – that will include a new diving platform – will help Harrogate and District Diving Club and Brimhams Active nurture talent and create a pathway for future Olympians, just like Jack.
Jack Laugher MBE said:
I’m truly honoured that Harrogate Borough Council have named the new facility in Ripon the Jack Laugher Leisure and Wellness Centre.
As a city I grew-up in and a district where I learned to swim and dive, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would have a facility named after me. I hope this new pool and the diving facilities in Harrogate encourage others to chase their dreams like I have.
A Willmott Dixon spokesperson said:
Our team are really proud of what they have created; the Jack Laugher Leisure and Wellness Centre will be an excellent additional to Ripon, supporting the health and wellbeing of people for many years to come. It’s also a fantastic tribute to the success of Jack Laugher, and we hope the legacy it provides will inspire more people to use the facility to aim for Olympic success in the future.
The new pool and sauna suite will be open every day of the week (opening hours are available on the Brimhams Active website) and will offer customers a variety of different activities, including general and family swim, swimming lessons and Aquafit.
Outside, a new car park has been installed along with a sheltered cycle rack, electric car charging points and a new play area.
The leisure centre will also be refurbished to provide an extended gym, two new activity studios, a spin studio as well as meeting facilities.