Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

New £20million Dunstable Centre now open!

Monday, 3 June 2019

The Centre replaces the old leisure centre and library in the town with brand-new state-of-the-art facilities, but the new building is so much more than a leisure centre and library.

“We are so lucky to have this for our community”, “It gives you a sense of pride” and “It’s amazing” – these are just some of the reactions from the first customers walking through the doors of the brand-new £20.1million Dunstable Centre, which Central Bedfordshire Council opened to the public today (3 June).

The crèche, café, flexible space to hire and Citizen’s Advice service, alongside a  location in the heart of town, means that the building is all set to become a true community hub.

“My first impression was wow!” said Dorothy Cooper, a member of the public, before adding: “I think they’ve got something for everybody here, and the building itself is spot on. There’s a café and a lovely library that I’ve joined already. I’m really excited: It’s a hub of activity for Dunstable and well worth the wait. It gives you a sense of pride.”

The centre has a brand-new 100-station gym and offers 67 fitness classes each week, alongside two squash courts, a large sports hall, multi-purpose fitness studios and much more.  

One of the first people through the doors was Colin Trussler and, after his gym induction, he said: “It’s been amazing. It has changed so dramatically. Some of the machinery looks so technically-advanced. I’ve been to some gyms over the years, but this one here supersedes any of the previous ones I’ve been to.”

The centre also has a bigger and fully accessible new library which is a large, bright and airy open-plan space. The space flows seamlessly from the main foyer and is zoned for different activities including space to relax, read or study, a children’s zone and new facilities for teenagers. The library also offers access to computers and iPads, with free Wi-Fi. 

“It’s 100 times better than the old library, I think it’s fantastic,” said Carol Bates, who was the first person to borrow a book from the new library. She added: “It’s lovely, open, airy and there’s good, interactive spaces for the younger children, plus lots of mod cons like the iPads and laptops, so there’s lots to do.”

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “At a time when public services across the country are being squeezed, we have invested over £20million in this amazing new Centre, to give our residents in Dunstable state-of-the-art facilities. By bringing a variety of services together under one roof, this fantastic new Centre will reduce running costs, while providing more flexible services and longer opening hours.

Take a peek on social media at @letstalkcentral to see pictures and videos of the great facilities available at the Centre.