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Islington's Sobell set for summer makeover

The first stage - improving the main hall - came in time for the centre to be used as the official venue for Olympic volleyball training in the summer of 2012.

Now a further investment of close to £1.4million will ensure the Olympic legacy continues in Islington with the installation of two new artificial, floodlit football pitches, followed by improvements within the centre itself.

The new football pitches, with the latest high-tec surface, will be constructed over the course of the summer. Work began on Monday 20 May, and will be completed in August. 

"Providing external space for our popular football bookings will free up the sports hall for other activities such as volleyball, basketball, netball and gymnastics and will increase the amount of people that can access these great facilities," said Sobell Centre manager Damien Swan. "There will also be improved lighting outside the centre."

Once this work is completed, a programme of internal work will begin from August until December. This will see: 

*the installation of new, retractable spectator seating for local and regional sporting events *improvements to the Junior Gym *new posts/goals for volleyball basketball and netball for local and regional standard competition level *new gymnastics equipment for the newly-formed gymnastics clubs *increasing the size of the fitness gym by a third *the creation of a new boxing gym *an upgrade of the training room which can be hired by local groups *and, most importantly, a redesign of the existing changing rooms to create separate spaces for health and fitness, schools and football customers.

Councillor Janet Burgess, Islington Council's deputy leader and executive member for health and wellbeing, said:  

"Improving the health and wellbeing of our residents is a council priority. One of the ways we do this is by providing great value leisure facilities for residents of all ages and abilities to enjoy. So I'm delighted that we are able to make this investment in the Sobell Centre to offer the type of sports and facilities local people welcome at an affordable price."

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