The new £25 million* Wycombe Leisure Centre was opened to the public this morning, as dozens of people queued outside for a first glimpse of the new Wycombe landmark.

GALLERY: Click here to see our gallery of pictures from the opening day.

Wycombe District Council chairman, Cllr Ian McEnnis, cut the ribbon outside the main entrance to the Handy Cross sports centre at 10am, ushering in a “new era for sport in Wycombe”.

Speaking in front of gym-goers, staff and other dignitaries, he hailed the state-of-the-art facility as a great success.

He said: “Today marks the beginning of a new era for sport in Wycombe and opens up a realm of new leisure opportunities for the residents of this district.

“Wycombe District Council and its development team, working alongside our contractors Willmott Dixon and our operator Places for People Leisure, has delivered a stunning new leisure centre that will inspire a new generation to take up sport and encourage those who perhaps previously gave up a leisure activity to get active once again.

“Whether it’s scaling the ten metre-high climbing wall, taking a dip in the impressive 50m swimming pool or getting in shape in the 150-station gym, Wycombe Leisure Centre has something for everyone.

“It has been a long road to reach this point and so I would like to tirelessly to the councillors and officers who worked so tirelessly on this project.”

He added: “There’s no gain without a little pain and so I would like to thank residents for their patience – I’m sure they will enjoy using this fantastic new centre.”

Wycombe Leisure Centre replaces the former Wycombe Sports Centre, which was closed last month after 40 years.

The new centre includes a 150-station gym, 50m swimming pool, 12-court sports hall, children’s splash zone, climbing wall and more.

WDC chief executive, Karen Satterford, said: “It’s a fantastic day, we’ve looked forward to this for many years and it’s brilliant to see it come to fruition and open today.

“I hope this will be a really good facility for Wycombe residents and hopefully they will appreciate the great quality we are seeing here.

“It is higher quality than many other centres around the country and we are very proud of that.”

The leisure centre development was the first phase of the Handy Cross Hub project.

As part of the move, a Waitrose supermarket is expected to be opening in spring along with the High Wycombe Coachway.

*A figure quoted previously by Wycombe District Council stated that the cost of the leisure centre was £35 million, but a spokesman has now confirmed the actual cost was £25 million.