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Work on Romford’s new £25million leisure centre begins

PUBLISHED: 16:56 06 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:56 06 April 2016

Cllr Roger Ramsey, Cllr Melvin Wallace, Willmott Dixon, Sport England, Sweett Group, Saunders Boston and London Raiders junior team members at the new Romford leisure development

Cllr Roger Ramsey, Cllr Melvin Wallace, Willmott Dixon, Sport England, Sweett Group, Saunders Boston and London Raiders junior team members at the new Romford leisure development

Archant

Work to build Romford’s new £25million leisure centre started this week, after a long-awaited land swap was completed.

Willmott Dixon, contractor for the project, started to survey and prepare the site, in Western Road, with building work set to begin in early May.

Leader of Havering Council. Cllr Roger Ramsey, said: “This is a very proud moment for Havering residents, who have waited an awfully long time for this news.

“The development will secure competition-level ice-skating and swimming for future generations, and provide first-class fitness facilities for all.”

Troubled supermarket chain Morrisons won the development contract as part of a land-swap deal that would see it build a supermarket on the former ice rink site in Rom Valley Way.

Doubts the leisure centre would ever be a built were raised as Morrisons dragged its feet, announcing in June last year that it was “reviewing new store requirements” and considering “all available options”.

But, In September Havering Council threatened Morrisons with legal action if it failed to complete the swap. An agreement that was fulfilled last week.

Cllr Ramsey added: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank residents for their patience, especially the London (Romford) Raiders Ice Hockey Club, and all the parents who are taking their children to other ice rinks with the old rink closed. We are aiming for the development to be complete by early 2018.”

The London Raiders has been based in Lee Valley since the town’s former rink closed in 2013.

Chris Tredget, managing director of Willmott Dixon in north London and the home counties said: “This is a fantastic project to work on and will leave a real legacy in the local community.

“This will bring huge opportunity to Romford and we are delighted to be working for the council to deliver this scheme.”

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