'Link' or 'The Link'
|Full name||The Link Centre|
|Location||Swindon, Wiltshire, England|
|Owner||Swindon Borough Council|
|Construction cost||£9,500,000 (approx.)|
|Architect||K P Sherry|
|Swindon Wildcats (Ice Hockey) Swindon Dolphins (Swimming)|
The Link Centre is a leisure centre in Swindon, England. The building, owned by Swindon Borough Council and operated by Greenwich Leisure under the brand "Better", is best known for its national-sized ice rink which houses an English Premier Ice Hockey League team, the Swindon Wildcats.
The building is part of the West Swindon district centre, in Westlea, about 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Swindon town centre. The complex includes a large Asda supermarket.
The centre was first commissioned by Thamesdown Borough Council (later renamed Swindon Borough Council) in 1970 to provide leisure and social facilities for an estimated West Swindon population of 50,000. Design was undertaken in-house under chief architect K P Sherry and work began on the site in 1983.
The space-age, multi-axial design incorporating an ice rink, swimming pool and other facilities opened in April 1985, received an estimated 1 million visitors in its first year of operation and "won awards and favourable mentions in architectural circles."
"The complex, designed to provide facilities for more than 20 sports and leisure activities, was described in architectural and sports journals as the most comprehensive development of its kind in Britain. Among the early visitors who came to Swindon specially to see it was Richard Tracey, who was Sports Minister in Margaret Thatcher's government."
The £2million ice rink was praised on completion but local residents were unhappy that the swimming pool, at only 25 metres long, was not of competition standard.
In 2003, the centre was closed following the finding of the legionella bacteria in the water cooling system. This bacteria, found during a routine test, is the cause of Legionnaires' disease. The Link Centre re-opened following a full sterilisation of the water supply. In 2007 the metal-exterior centre was closed by a major electrical fault caused by an internal flood.
- Ice rink
- The international-sized ice pad is recognised as a "Centre of Excellence" for both figure skating and ice hockey. It is an approved national centre for squad training for the National Ice Skating Association and British Ice Hockey Associations, and a NISA approved regional test centre.
- 25m deck level swimming pool
- Gym with over 100 stations and Astroturf area
- Dedicated spin studio
- 2 fitness class studios
- 1,100 square metre trampoline park
- Squash courts
- "Flood closes town leisure centre". BBC News. 2006-07-07. Retrieved 2007-05-15.
- "Shaping up to controversy". Swindon Advertiser. 2001-09-11. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-15.
- "Legionella bacteria found in Swindon". BBC News. 2003-12-04. Retrieved 2007-05-15.
- "Centre reopens after bug find". BBC News. 2003-12-05. Retrieved 2007-05-15.
- "Ice Rink". Leisure and Sport. Swindon Borough Council. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-05-15.