THE whistle blew to mark both the kick-off for a state-of-the-art sports centre, and full time for the Colchester Garrison redevelopment project.

Town mayor Peter Crowe officially opened the Berechurch Road facility - known in military terms as the Physical and Recreational Training Centre - on Friday.

The centre boasts a large sports hall, which can be subdivided into two areas, each the size of a five-a-side football pitch; an eight-lane, 25m swimming pool with 3m-high board; a fitness suite; six squash courts, two with spectator seating; 12 outdoor tennis courts, 15 new outdoor sports pitches; and an artificial cricket pitch.

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