A stone commemorating the opening of a leisure centre in Exeter by Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, is to be returned back to its rightful place.
The stone, which commemorates the opening of the Plaza Centre – now called the Riverside Leisure Centre – has been in safe storage for a number of years following redevelopments of the site. Now the historic stone is to be brought out and will be incorporated into a raised bed outside the centre. The stone will be unveiled again at a ceremony at 10.30am on Thursday, April 28.
Back in 1986 the then Princess of Wales, Lady Diana, opened the Riverside Leisure Centre, which at the time was known as the Plaza Centre. The site was developed by Sainsbury’s as part of a new store complex together with St Thomas Library.
The Leisure Centre cost £8 million to build and boasts one of the largest curved glass walls in Europe. To commemorate the opening an inscribed monolithic stone was commissioned.
Following subsequent redevelopments of the site resulting in its current layout, the stone was put into safe keeping, waiting for the right conditions to reinstate to its rightful place.
The site has now returned to the ownership of Exeter City Council following the end of the lease to Sainsbury’s and with the retendering of the leisure contract the raised bed that fronts Riverside is being managed by the council. The bed is going to be redeveloped and the stone will be incorporated into the new design. Drawings of the proposed design will be released shortly.
(from a press release)