A major investment in better facilities and more space at the Windrush Leisure Centre has prompted a rise in the number of users.

A total of £560,000 has been invested in the Witney facility which was officially launched on Friday 2 November.

The makeover includes the gym being extended by 140 sq metres, the installation of new windows and a dedicated space for people with disabilities.

As a result, user figures in the last two months have risen from 7,880 to 8,281, a rise of five per cent.

Martin Crabb started using the gym when he was told he needed a hip replacement. Using the equipment has helped him following the procedure to the point where he can walk more than three miles just four weeks after the operation.

Mr Crabb, 68, from Witney, said: “The new facilities are wonderful and prepared me for my operation so well and the staff have been brilliant and have helped with my recovery exercises.

“I have also made so many new friends since starting to come to the gym.”

Cllr Jeanette Baker, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Health, said: “It is fantastic to see that the investment is already starting to pay off with so many residents telling me how much they are enjoying these new facilities. I am particularly pleased with the improvements made for people with disabilities.”

The centres are run by the council’s leisure operator GLL Better which is investing £10.3m over the next 10 years.

Other works include a major expansion of Carterton Leisure Centre due to start building work next week and a £200,000 extension of Chipping Norton Leisure Centre.

Paul Shearman, Partnership Manager at GLL Better, said: “We are responding directly to residents’ feedback by providing excellent facilities locally and we are hugely encouraged by the rise in users.”

Cllr Norman MacRae, Cabinet Member for Partnerships, added: “GLL and ourselves are committed to improving leisure facilities across the District and this is just one of a host of improvements which residents will see taking shape in the near future.”