PERSISTENT parking problems around a Cradley Heath leisure centre should now be a distant memory with the opening of a new car park.

Residents near Haden Hill Leisure Centre have long complained about traffic and parking problems but 50 new spaces have been created in the new car park.

Sandwell Leisure Trust spent £250,000 on the car park which is on part of the land of the demolished Municipal Buildings. Sandwell Leisure Trust's chair of the board, Lois Taylor, said: "I am delighted that the new car park is now open for customers at this popular leisure centre.

"I'd like to thank local residents and partners for being so supportive during the car park's construction."

SLT deputy chief executive, Ash Rai: "SLT invested heavily in purchasing the land to ensure that our customers are able to park."

The 12-week construction scheme started in September and has been completed in time for the car park to open on Friday.

SLT bought the Municipal Buildings site from Sandwell Council in 2012 and have sold part of the land to the West Midlands Fire Service for the replacement fire station for Halesowen and Cradley Heath stations.

Haden Hill Leisure Centre is one of the most popular in the West Midlands and has a gym, swimming pools, sports hall and dance studio which is home to over 75 fitness classes every week, the centre now has a total of 98 car parking spaces.