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28 October 2013, 06:00
A new £16m leisure centre opens its doors in South Tyneside, with world champion para-swimmer Nicole Lough the first to take a dip.
The 18 year old from South Shields is a three time British record holder, and will be the first customer to plunge into the 25 metre swimming pool at the new Haven Point development when it opens later.
Nicole also claimed bronze at the IPC World Swimming World Championships earlier this summer
"To have a centre like this in South Shields is just fantastic and I hope it will give a new generation of swimmers the chance to develop their abilities in the years to come."
The £16m Haven Point centre, at Pier Parade, South Shields, represents the single biggest investment ever made into leisure facilities in South Tyneside.
It has been built to replace the old swimming pool at Temple Park, which closed last week.
As well as the 25m competition pool Nicole will be testing, the new state-of-the-art centre also boasts an 18 metre training pool with adjustable floors for varying age groups and abilities, leisure waters, complete with slides, sprays and a water play area.
For those who prefer to stay dry, Haven Point will also offer an 86-station gym, two dance studios housing a variety of fitness classes, a sauna and steam room, a café, amphitheatre, visitor information centre and a roof top viewing gallery.