Eddie the Eagle, Eddie Edwards, will be opening the new Tarka Leisure Centre - Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

Eddie the Eagle to open the new Tarka Leisure Centre next week

Joseph Bulmer

World famous ski jumper Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards is to officially open the Tarka Leisure Centre on Friday, June 24, at 1pm.

The new facility in Barnstaple features a state of the art ‘endless’ indoor ski slope and so Britain’s Winter Olympic hero of 1988 leapt to mind as the perfect person to launch the facility.

Eddie is looking forward to jumping into action: “It’s fantastic for people in North Devon to have access to an indoor ski slope. We’ve seen recently how Britain is producing skiers that can compete on a world stage.

“This is a great opportunity for children in particular, in a controlled environment, to learn how to ski and who knows a future Olympic gold medallist may come from here.”

Like many ongoing building projects, construction of the leisure centre on Seven Brethren has had to deal with some supply chain disruption.

As a result, the centre’s planned ‘soft opening’ on Tuesday 14th June isn’t possible with the centre now set to open on Thursday June 23rd.

Councillor David Worden, Leader of North Devon Council said: “We’re sorry that the date for the opening of the fantastic new leisure centre has had to move a couple of times now but there are still a few things to finish off that have taken a bit longer than expected. We’re really looking forward to the Tarka Leisure Centre opening.”

The centre will see Tarka Tennis, with its indoor and outdoor courts and football pitches be integrated into the new facility.

Two swimming pools with height adjustable flooring, a top of the range gym powered by Life Fitness equipment, the endless ski slope, soft play, class studios and more will now all be on one site in Barnstaple.