AN ICONIC leisure and arts facility is set for a busy weekend after opening to the public following a multi-million pound revamp.
Billingham Forum has reopened after an £18.5m refurbishment giving people got their first chance to see and try its new facilities.
The popular building, which was opened in the 1960s, was closed for more than 18 months while contractors Morgan Sindall carried out the work.
The Forum has been given new and improved features to its swimming pool, ice-skating rink, theatre, sports courts and childrens’ play facilities.
Council chiefs say it has extended the Forum’s lifespan by another 30 years.
Families joined council bosses and building contractors yesterday for its grand re-opening.
Three days of events, entertainment and taster sessions have been laid on which will continue over today and tomorrow.
All weekend there will be taster sessions, fitness classes and the chance to try the new skating rink, swim, play badminton and squash.
Youngsters to try out the new play barn and face painters, magicians, balloon artists and competitions will also be going on.
Councillor Bob Cook, leader of Stockton Borough Council, said: “This ambitious refurbishment of the Forum has been a challenging scheme, but through the partnership working with Morgan Sindall it is now complete and soon to be open for business.
“The building is now fit for modern purpose and ready for use for future generations.”
The new look Forum includes an extra training pool and refurbished changing rooms, toilets and spectator areas, an extended gym with 30 more fitness stations, improved changing facilities and a new dance studio.
The structure of the theatre has been improved and has been given an enhanced entrance and hospitality areas.
And the popular ice rink has been rejuvenated with a new ice pad and upgraded spectator area.
The reception area has been given a bright new look with glass atrium and a new cafe while the outside of the Forum has been given distinctive new cladding.
For more details about the taster sessions visit www.teesactive.co.uk