FITNESS fanatics donned 1980s-style leotards and legwarmers to mark a Bournemouth leisure centre’s 25th anniversary.

Staff and visitors at the Littledown Centre rolled back the years as they celebrated welcoming over 31 million visitors since opening in March 1989.

The centre was commissioned by Bournemouth council to provide the local community and holidaymakers with quality public swimming, leisure and sporting facilities.

In the past 25 years, it has welcomed six million swimmers, 3.5 million gym visitors and 3.5 million people taking part in fitness classes. In addition, 1.5 million swimming lessons have been given to people of all ages, 2.5 million people have played football on its pitches and the crèche has welcomed 160,000 little people through its doors.

Cllr Lawrence Williams, portfolio holder for tourism, leisure and culture, said: “The Littledown Centre was the first large multi-sports facility in Bournemouth and after 25 years it continues to go from strength to strength.

“Since 1989 over 31 million people have enjoyed using the facilities with a fantastic range of services available. This has helped to maintain Bournemouth as one of the most physically active communities in the UK.”

Although originally run by the council, the operation and management of the centre was transferred to BH Live in 2010 and the focus has been on extending the range of activities offered. More than 25,000 people currently visit the Littledown Centre every week and the most recent investment was in Altitude, a high ropes leisure attraction in the park.

Mike Lyons, BH Live director of leisure facilities, said: “As one of the top-performing multi-purpose leisure centres in the UK, the Littledown Centre’s 25 year story so far is one to be celebrated.

“The ambition to create a thriving leisure centre which reaches out into the local community to encourage participation in physical activity is being achieved each and every day.”