A £1.4m upgrade at Tenby Leisure Centre is being carried out by Pembrokeshire County Council.

Work starts shortly on the major refurbishment, which will include a new fitness facility and café, as well as a makeover of the foyer and other dry-side facilities.

The announcement by the authority has been hailed as ‘wonderful news for both Tenby and south Pembrokeshire’ by local MP Simon Hart, who added: “It’s great to get some positive news about council spending.”

The project is the culmination of Pembrokeshire County Council’s 10-year £20 million leisure facilities strategy, which has seen the building of new leisure centres and upgrading of facilities across the county.

“One way to encourage people to be active is to provide them with top class facilities,” said Councillor Elwyn Morse, cabinet member for sport and leisure. "We hope that the upgrade at Tenby will inspire people to take up more sport and physical activity.”

Chris Payne, Pembrokeshire County Council leisure services manger, said that since 2002, the authority had built two new leisure centres at Fishguard and Haverfordwest and upgraded those at Milford Haven and Pembroke. "In addition we have built a new sports hall for St David’s and upgraded Astroturf pitches and tracks across the county," he added. "Tenby is the culmination of this programme.”

Work starts soon on realigning the driveway entrance to Tenby Leisure Centre and once that is completed. work will start on upgrading the centre itself.

It is expected that the project will take around a year to complete.

The centre will remain open to the public throughout, although there will be a temporary new entrance.

The project has been designed by Pembrokeshire County Council’s in-house team of architects, with centre building work carried out by local contractors WJG Evans.

Commented Mr Hart: “Judging by the number of people I see out running and cycling on the roads at the weekends, I think it’s fair to say that Pembrokeshire is in the grip of exercise fever, which is fantastic.

“We already have the ideal scenery and countryside for training, so it will be great to have indoor facilities to match.

“It’s great to see so many people getting the fitness bug - I do think Ironman is one reason; everyone I know seems to be entering this year!”