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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Full Steam Ahead for the Tameside Wellness Centre

Thursday, 08 August 2019

This week I had the pleasure of visiting the site of the new Tameside Wellness Centre to see first-hand the progress being made on the jewel in the crown of our £20 million leisure investment. Built on brownfield land on the former Oldham Batteries and located just off Lance Corporal Andrew Breeze Way in the heart of Denton, the Centre combines leisure, community and wellness facilities on a scale and in a way that has never been seen in Tameside to date.

While attention will certainly focus on the 8-lane, 24-metre swimming pool and the 10-pin bowling alley, that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what the Wellness Centre will offer to our residents. Once complete, the finished building will boast a learner pool, a spa area including sauna and steam facilities and a fitness suite. However, our vision for the Wellness Centre is as much about encouraging people to meet up and interact socially as it will be about giving them a space to be healthy and active. To that end there will also be meeting rooms, free Wi-Fi, a children’s soft play area and multi-use studio spaces. The traditional foyer will instead be a “social interaction zone” that can be used to both host events such as history talk or music sessions, or as a relaxation and reading area. Even the roof will be put to work, as we’ve transformed it into a sensory garden and open air community space. Thanks to the work of our contractors, Pozzoni Architects, every facility in the building will be open to all, with disabled access to the swimming pool and dementia-friendly designed used throughout.

This merging of sports and community activities serves a very clear purpose. Healthy life expectancy at birth for men and women in the borough is 58.1 years and 57.6 years respectively, significantly below the England average. Addressing this issue, giving our residents the tools they need to live longer and healthier lives, is one of the key objectives in our plan for Tameside’s future. Research has shown that while our health services are undoubtedly important for when we fall ill, they are responsible for less than 10% of the things that keep us healthy. When it comes to our health and wellbeing the basic facts of our life, including where we live, our communities and our everyday habits are far more important. By turning the Wellness Centre into a welcoming space for everybody, not just those who work out or exercise heavily, we can make it easier for residents who use the facility socially to starting taking the steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

We particularly want to encourage an activity revolution in our older residents. Physical activity can reduce the risk of the devastating falls which can afflict older people by up to 37%, as well as reducing rates of dementia by 30%. Despite that, 4 in 10 older adults in Greater Manchester are inactive. Our own studies in Tameside show that significantly increasing our levels of activity could potentially prevent 1,344 new diabetes cases, 60 new breast cancer cases, 21 new colorectal cancer cases and 73 new incidences of coronary heart disease a year. The impact that this could have, not just in terms of the quality of life of our residents but the money that could be saved in health and social care as well, cannot be underestimated. The Tameside Wellness Centre isn’t just an investment for an economic benefit; it will provide a solid moral benefit as well.

I know I speak for everybody involved in the project when I say that we’re really excited to see how the Tameside Wellness Centre is taking shape, especially as it’s currently on schedule to open its doors in spring next year. A healthier and happier Tameside is within our reach, and I can’t wait to keep working to make it a reality.
 

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


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