28 June 2022 North Devon’s new state-of-the-art facility, Tarka Leisure Centre, opened in Barnstaple last week (24th June), combining the town’s leisure facilities into one site.

Following a £15 million investment, the new facility was officially opened by British Winter Olympic Hero Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards, celebrating the new additions including a brand new endless ski-slope, which provides residents with the unique opportunity to try out skiing and snowboarding in North Devon.

The new centre is owned by North Devon Council and forms part of a longstanding partnership with Parkwood Leisure, which dates back almost 20 years. The site is part grant-funded and received £1.5 million from the Coastal Communities Fund and £1.8 million from the National Lottery via Sport England.

As part of the development, the existing tennis centre, which already offered six indoor tennis courts, four outdoor courts and a full-size artificial grass football pitch, now also includes the new facilities: a 25m eight-lane competition swimming pool with a movable floor, a 20m four-lane learner pool, an impressive 110 station gym with equipment supplied by Life Fitness, two multi-purpose group exercise studios plus indoor cycling studio,  as well as a four badminton court-size sports hall. A large indoor soft play, outdoor play area and cafe, as well as the endless ski-slope complete the multi-million pound leisure facility. 

Commenting on the new leisure centre, North Devon Council Leader, David Worden, said: “It’s been designed and built with customers in mind, who’ve helped to shape the facilities such as movable floors in the swimming pools, improved access for people with disabilities and skiing too.”

Glen Hall, Parkwood Leisure’s Managing Director said: “This is a fantastic new facility, built through a longstanding partnership with North Devon Council. Parkwood Leisure is focused on the health and wellbeing of the communities we operate in and the new Tarka facility will give the opportunity for everyone in the area to get active, try something new and offers something truly unique to the area”.

Architects Watson Batty and contractors Speller Metcalfe have delivered the £15 million project, whilst keeping the existing Tarka Tennis Facility and Falcons Gymnastics Academy fully open and operational for the duration of the build.

Tarka Leisure Centre is now open and welcoming visitors. 

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