A leisure centre planned to include a six-lane swimming pool and dance studio has taken another step closer to completion with a topping-out ceremony. 

Work to build the centre on Rainham Recreation Ground in Viking Way began in January last year following Covid-induced delays, with the Recorder reporting the council hoped to have the work completed by June 2023. 

Once finished, the centre, which will include facilities such as a 72-station fitness suite in addition to the pool and dance and spin studio, will be handed over to Everyone Active, which runs leisure centres across the borough. 

On January 31, a topping-out ceremony was held to celebrate the final piece of the centre’s external site being completed. 

Cabinet members, including council leader Ray Morgon, local ward members, Tom Fletcher from Everyone Active, and ReCreation’s director Adrian Turner, the company managing the facility’s design and build, were all in attendance. 

With the steel frame and roof now in place, work will move on to the external décor and the tiling for the leisure centre, before it opens its doors later in the year. 

Cllr Morgon said: "Seeing the extensive progress on site is really positive, as this will be a fantastic new facility not only for the community in Rainham, but for the whole borough. 

“We’re proud that we’ve been able to invest in our leisure centres, which are very important to both our physical and mental health. 

“It will be an asset to the local community, not just as a place for people to stay healthy through exercise but also somewhere for people of all ages to meet and socialise.” 

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Mr Fletcher added: “This continued investment from the council will ensure we can enhance our leisure offering and continue to engage people from all backgrounds in physical activity. 

“We will continue to work hard with Havering Council and our build partners to ensure that construction is completed to the highest quality and remains on schedule. 

"We look forward to seeing this site improve the lives and wellbeing of people in Havering.”