BURY’s three leisure centres have been given the thumbs-up from Sport England.

Castle Leisure Centre and the pool and fitness centres in Radcliffe and Ramsbottom have passed an assessment under the national quality scheme, Quest.

Staff at the Bury Leisure department underwent a one-day assessment across all areas of operation, as well as an anonymous visit.

Aspects included how well the centres were set up, the facilities on offer, and value for money.

Zilpha Lang, facilities operations manager, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and a real team effort. Quest is much more than a tick box exercise; it is an ongoing programme to improve our facility for both staff and customers, and a great way to demonstrate our achievements.”

Quest’s operations director Caroline Constantine said: “By meeting Quest’s high standards, Bury Leisure has shown its commitment to providing quality facilities and service to its customers.

“In these tough economic times it is more important than ever that local leisure facilities can demon-strate their value, and the Quest process helps them do just that.”

Olympic gold medal athlete Darren Campbell, who is the first Quest Ambassador, said: “I would like to congratulate Bury Leisure on achieving Quest. I believe that the whole community should have accessible, affordable and high quality sport and leisure facilities on their doorstep. In working hard to continuously improve their offering, Bury Leisure is doing its bit to encourage and inspire people to get more active.”

The successful assessment comes while asbestos is still causing complications to the repair of Radcliffe’s swimming pool which has been closed for more than five months.