Twenty five years of leisure, fun, fitness and sporting history in Guildford

February 23 2018

The much-loved Guildford Spectrum marks its 25th birthday today with The Deputy Mayor of Guildford Cllr Mike Parsons, Freedom Leisure Centre Manager Nyssa Jackson and Specky, the Spectrum’s very own mascot, cutting the birthday cake!

Spectrum 25th Birthday

The centre also has a twenty five themed day planned with visitors in with a chance of winning prizes throughout the day.

Since opening on 23 February 1993 the leisure complex, now operated by Freedom Leisure on behalf of Guildford Borough Council, has welcomed over 43 million visitors through its doors. Guildford Spectrum has provided fun times, leisure activities and an array of fitness and sports facilities for people to enjoy.

In addition it has played host to hundreds of high profile, high quality sporting events; including the World and British Short Track Speed Skating Championships, top class ice hockey, England International Basketball and ULEB Cup basketball (now called The EuroCup Basketball competition), along with Guildford Heat, Netball Superleague and other televised events such as Premier League Snooker and Darts.

Over the 25 years it has welcomed some household names in the world of popular entertainment and particularly music by staging concerts by Peter Andre, The Back Street Boys and the Everly Brothers to name just a few.

For the past 25 years Guildford Spectrum has been a focal point of entertaining and exciting leisure activities for residents and visitors to our borough. Since opening, Spectrum has enabled people of all ages and abilities to have fun while keeping fit, healthy and active.

Richard Billington, Lead Councillor for Parks and Leisure

The ice rink is home to the legendary Guildford Flames ice hockey team that now ply their trade in the British Elite League, rubbing shoulders with the ice hockey super teams such as Belfast, Manchester and Cardiff. The complex was also used as a training base by many Olympic and Paralympic teams and nations in the run up to London 2012; notably the 40-strong Nigerian Olympic Athletics squad.

Centre Manager, Nyssa Jackson says: “Anyone from around the area knows of Guildford Spectrum; it’s a local landmark and has been part of local life for a quarter of a century! People in the area either grew up enjoying its facilities or have brought their children here, while the superb facilities support local residents and clubs to exercise and partake in sport. Spectrum has also been responsible for attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to the borough with its facilities and its events, providing great leisure and entertainment opportunities for everyone.

“Freedom Leisure has operated Spectrum on behalf of Guildford Borough Council for over six years and is extremely proud of the facility and all it has to offer. It is important for us to support the Council’s aims of encouraging residents and visitors to be more active and healthy and to have a great time while doing so, while also putting Guildford firmly on the map when it comes to hosting worldwide sporting competitions and events!”

Richard Billington, Lead Councillor for Parks and Leisure says: “For the past 25 years Guildford Spectrum has been a focal point of entertaining and exciting leisure activities for residents and visitors to our borough. Since opening, Spectrum has enabled people of all ages and abilities to have fun while keeping fit, healthy and active.

“The Council continues to invest in the venue so everyone can enjoy the many great facilities on offer, now and into the future. It’s also been great to see the world-class national and international events since 1993, as well as the many different opportunities it gives to the thousands of local people and teams who go or play there every day.”         

Guildford Flames celebrate Spectrum's 25th Birthday