A college sports centre in Thurston is offering even more to the community after going into partnership with Abbeycroft Leisure.
Archery Commonwealth gold medallist Nicky Hunt, who has her sights set on the Rio Olympics in 2016, opened the new £1.3m sports centre at Thurston Community Centre in April 2011.
At its heart the facilities were designed for community as well as student use.
Now Abbeycroft, who run the Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill leisure centres, will help develop that further.
Helen Wilson, Principal of Thurston Community College, said: “As a Community College, we are always looking for ways in which we can share our outstanding facilities with members of our wider community. We are very excited about our partnership with Abbeycroft Leisure because their involvement should ensure that our sports facilities are fully utilised outside of our College day.
“We are particularly pleased that careful negotiations with our neighbours, aided by the Thurston Parish Council, have ensured that extending the use of our facilities will not be detrimental to their quality of life.
“We very much hope that this development will enable local teams and individuals from our wider community to extend their participation in and enjoyment of sport.”
The new partnership will enable them to extend the community opening hours from January 26 to include Friday evenings and a Sunday morning.
The modern Centre features a 22 station fitness suite; astro pitch; sports hall; sports studios suitable for sports education; a gymnasium suitable for dance, parties and martial arts; plus floodlit hard courts for tennis, netball and football.
Abbeycroft will increase the range of activities at the Thurston centre to include RUSH hockey, badminton coaching, and children’s parties.
Warren Smyth, Chief Executive of Abbeycroft Leisure, said: “This is a great example of Abbeycroft working in the community to try and help increase access to activity for the community and help the college increase use of its fantastic facilities.”