Dudley's new Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre opens to rave reviews

Dudley's new state-of-the-art leisure centre has received rave reviews after it opened its doors to the public.

Centre manager Kevin Levack
Centre manager Kevin Levack

The £18 million Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre, named in honour of the borough's footballing hero who found fame with Manchester United, welcomed its first fitness fans on Monday, a week after the previous leisure centre closed down.

Among the features at the new town centre facility is a 25-metre swimming pool with eight lanes, a teaching pool with a spectator are, a four-court sports hall suitable for badminton and indoor football, a 100-station gym, two exercise studios, and an immersive cycle studio which is the the first of its kind in the Black Country.

Among the first residents to hot-foot to the centre, in Constitution Hill, was retired chef Sandra Flynn, 73, of St Peter's Road, Darby End. She said: "I think the centre is super. It's definitely state-of-the-art.

Sandra Flynn says the new gym's facilities are first-class

"There's something for everyone. I have been a gym member at Dudley for over 20 years and there's no comparison between the old and the new centres.

"I am a keen swimmer so I will be coming for that, but I also have the option to use the other facilities. There are first-class facilities for disabled people. It is really lovely and in a great location in the town centre.

"It's great that's been named after Duncan Edwards. Dudley is really coming on with this and the Castlegate development and plans for the trams."

Miroslaw Hunder in the pool

Miroslaw Hunder, 36, a machine operator, of Regent Road, Tividale, said: "It's very nice here. I'll be coming every day to use the pool and the gym. It's very good to get active and keep fit.

"I grew up in a small town in Poland where there wasn't a gym at the time and I've been in the UK for 15 years. I'm going to get my friends to sign up for membership at the new centre."

Jessica Carpenter, 26, a police officer, of Dudley, said: "It is brilliant. I'd only joined the old gym in the new year, so I only used it for a week or two it was closed.

Hazel Timmins in the Wellness Suite

"This new place is spacious, well ventilated and has got a bigger variety of exercise machines. There is also mixed weights. The old place was really tiny."

Hazel Timmins, a retired beautician, of Earls Keep, Dudley, enjoyed working out in the Wellness Suite.

"I think it's money well spent. I'm happy that the council has done it.

Jessica Carpenter in the gym

"I went to the old centre for four years. I did come to the new site to have a look around on the open days, so I knew what to expect now it's open. It's much more modern with updated equipment."

Duncan Edwards played for Manchester United and the England. The 21-year-old was among the United team to be killed in the Munich air disaster on 21 February 1958 and was buried in Dudley Cemtery

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