Sir Steve Redgrave was the guest of honour at the grand opening of youth activity centre The Showroom on Monday, April 4th.

The ex-rower, famous for winning five consecutive Olympic gold medals between 1984 and 2000, visited the transformed car showroom on Tritton Road to speak about his career, try his hand on the largest indoor climbing wall in Lincolnshire and officially open the site.

On the potential of the building, Redgrave said: “It will make a huge difference.

“Having the premises is one thing – actually inspiring people to come is another. But you can’t cater for everybody.”

The Showroom was financed by the government-funded scheme ‘myplace’, which aims to improve the facilities and opportunities open to young people across the country. Around £5 million of the £272 million allocated to the project went towards The Showroom.

Though the mammoth climbing wall is undoubtedly the facility’s pièce de résistance, the site also includes a hair salon, a music studio and an indoor sports cage.

Redgrave said: “I think it’s fantastic. The aim of the “myplace” project is that there is funding to get things up and running.

“But then you’ve got to come up with a structure to maintain it, so it’s great to see the conference centre being involved.”

As well as recreational activities for young people, the site also houses a large conference centre which can hold up to 200 people. It is hoped the income from this area will help fund the rest of The Showroom.

Redgrave also spoke about the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games in London, encouraging people to buy tickets and spoke of his initial frustration with the government’s “legacy” project.

“We made many promises in the bid documents that we were successful with. There was one about inspiring youths, not just in this country but around the world.

“At the end of the last government I was asked to oversee their human legacy programme.

“In the first meeting, I read [the document] from the back pages as that gives you an overview of it and their human legacy programme finished in 2013.

“Hopefully what I got the last government and this government to think about is that the success of London [2012] is where we are as a country in 2020, not 2013.”