Oak Park Active Living Centre boosts local economy

Last updated: 05/01/2016 14:30:05

Oak Park

Oak Park and Bloxwich Active Living Centres form part of a multi million pound scheme being built by ISG working with Walsall Council.

With work estimated to be completed in early summer the political representatives that started the ball rolling on the initiative made a special visit to the Oak Park site recently to see up close how the development was progressing.

Wendy Morton MP stated; “The new Oak Park Active Living Centre will be a fantastic asset to our local community and will provide both leisure and community resource facilities.

“I believe that the benefits will be felt beyond Walsall Wood.  I was particularly interested to hear of the involvement of local suppliers and trades as this provides a boost to the local economy.”

With the 600m2 of glass used in the building fitted and supplied by local contractors and suppliers this is just one example of how the local economy has benefited from the prestigious project.

The new facility at Oak Park will be equipped with a 25 metre eight lane swimming pool, teaching/learner pool with moving floor, 100 station fitness suite, six court sports hall, two glass backed squash courts, dance studio, floodlit full-size “3G” artificial turf pitch and cafe.

Funded through the Council’s £24.3 million Active Living Centres initiative, the project received a further £2m grant from Sport England’s “Iconic” facilities award scheme to support Walsall Council’s aspiration to improve Walsall residents’ overall health and well-being.

As part of a strategy aimed at benefiting the local economy through the massive development project local businesses were invited to a series of events as part of the Meet the Buyer initiative which provided a business networking opportunity for local suppliers to meet developer ISG.

Through opening up opportunities to local businesses through offering advice and guidance on the bidding process the initiative aimed to invest in the skills and companies found in the region.

Councillor Harris Portfolio Holder for Community, Communities, Leisure and Culture stated: “We are getting close to the day when this exciting new facility will be open to the public and it’s a great feeling to see something we envisaged take shape like this.

“Not only will this make a significant difference to the lives of local residents getting more people more active more often, it has made a big impact on the local economy through local businesses working on its development.”

The existing Oak Park facility will remain open throughout the project as the new building will be next-door to the existing artificial turf pitches and accessed off Coppice Road. The old building will be demolished following the completion and opening of the new centre.