Case Study 1 : Newton-Le-Willows
St Helens Council / Go Active
The former Selwyn Jones Leisure Centre underwent a £4.2 million transformation thanks to investment from St Helens Council, and was delivered by Alliance Leisure under the UK Leisure Framework with Createability appointed by Alliance as principle contractor. The scheme transformed the centre in to a modern, dynamic sports facility, overhauling the whole interior of the sports centre, with the creation of an adventure play area with three party rooms, and a split-level fitness suite. The existing fitness suite has been converted into a multi-functional exercise studio. An Immersive group cycling studio has also been created giving the centre two dedicated studio spaces. A coffee shop and café have been included and all other remaining areas of the building have been renovated too. To improve accessibility to the pool and fitness suite for people with a disability, Sport England provided a £335,000 grant. This funded the reconfiguration of the outdated male, female and group changing rooms into a family-friendly ‘Village Change’ and the redecoration of the pool balcony. The outdoor pitch changing rooms have also benefited from a refurbishment.
To modernise the centre and keep abreast of current trends, the existing fitness suite was converted into a multi-functional exercise studio, where the council’s chosen fitness equipment supplier, Precor, have installed a 14-metre Queenax Bridge. The functional training rig enables the centre to run split classes and circuit sessions, incorporating three Assault AirRunners and two Assault AirBike Elites. The glass-enclosed reception desk has also been remodelled to provide a low-level, welcoming space that caters for all and the interior design, incorporating light, bright, modern colour schemes transform the centre from its old 1980’s look and feel. To ensure the infrastructure supports the new development, the entire plant, heating and ventilation systems have been replaced. The £750,000 project will improve efficiencies, generating a more positive carbon footprint and ensuring that the centre remains fully functional and fit for purpose with a renewed life-cycle.
Case Study 2 : New Market Leisure Centre
West Suffolk Council and Abbeycroft Leisure
The £1.8m transformation at Newmarket Leisure Centre was completed during a challenging final phase of development under lockdown conditions in July 2020. The project was delivered via the UK Leisure Framework and remodelled the existing space to create new facilities including:
- New Soft Play facility to include a Sensory Room for a more inclusive offering
- New Party Rooms
- New Café (Paddy & Scott’s brand by Abbeycroft) with new Kitchen
- Gym extension on first floor
- New eGym facility to attract a new market of users
- New Group Exercise Studio (giving 2 total) on first floor
- Remodelled Gym Changing facilities on first floor
- NHS Groups room on first floor
- Meeting Room on ground floor
- New Reception & Access Control
Case Study 3 : Monmouth Leisure Centre
Monmouthshire County Council
In an impressive feat of construction engineering, a 25 metre swimming pool and spa has successfully been built within the existing structure of a sports hall. This is the first time a project of this kind has been successfully executed in the UK and forms part of the £7.4m refurbishment and extension of Monmouth Leisure Centre for Monmouthshire County Council in South Wales. Delivered by Alliance Leisure Services as part of the UK Leisure Framework, the multi-phased project has enabled the council to provide a raft of new facilities for the town including a new 60-station gym, exercise and group cycling studios, a toning suite, children’s play area and café in the most cost-effective way. Monmouth has been without a public swimming pool for some years. To meet local demand for swimming, the development also includes a new 25m swimming pool and spa. The leisure centre shares its site and some of its facilities with Monmouth Comprehensive School. At the time of the redevelopment, a new school was being built to the left of the leisure centre. With the existing school sitting to the right of the centre, the only place to put the pool was in the leisure centre’s sports hall. “Squeezing the swimming pool into the sports hall was the only way we could provide the wide range of facilities required by Monmouth County Council to meet local need. This created a host of challenges equating to the construction industry’s equivalent of squeezing a ship into a bottle, but the results are amazing. Procuring the project through the UK Leisure Framework resulted in major efficiencies to the build process and allowed us to work with our trusted partners ISG to develop an innovative solution for this incredibly complicated project,” says Julia Goddard, senior business development manager at Alliance Leisure.
Principle build contractor ISG erected a high spec temporary sports hall to accommodate the needs of the school and community while the project was ongoing. Larger than its permanent predecessor, the four-court hall included a sprung floor, changing facilities, toilets, level access, heating and air conditioning. Some of the sports hall walls had to be removed to get equipment and plant machinery into the building to facilitate the work. The building was stripped back to its shell and treated with spray-on insultation to protect and seal the hall and prevent any impact onto the adjoining dry site. ISG worked with Alliance to develop innovative solutions to a number of challenges caused by the logistical constraints of the site. Built to ASA standards, the 25m, five lane pool occupies most of the hall. The building also accommodates a spa comprising an eight-person sauna, eight-person steam room and six-person spa bath. Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for leisure, Councillor Bob Greenland said: “It’s a very great pleasure and privilege to celebrate a successful project three years in the making. At a time when other councils were closing leisure centres, we committed to this new modern facility and we now see the fulfilment of our promise to the people of Monmouth and the surrounding areas. Members of the leisure centre’s staff have demonstrated faith in a time of uncertainty, but they can now look forward to a bright future. I’d also like to recognise the contribution of development specialist Alliance Leisure which has supported the council throughout the project and the ISG construction services company for its wonderful work here in Monmouth.” The project was funded by a combination of local project developments and borrowing.
Case Study 4 : Carmarthen Leisure Centre
Carmarthenshire County Council
In a bid to get more children and adults more active, Carmarthenshire County Council has invested almost half a million pounds to reinvigorate its leisure provision and create new inspiring spaces for all age groups. Obesity is a huge problem in Wales . According to the National Survey of Wales (2016-2017), 59 per cent of adults are overweight and 23 per cent are obese. The Child Measurement Programme also reports 26 per cent of reception aged children are obese compared to 22 per cent in England. Councillor Peter Hughes-Griffiths, Executive Board Member for Leisure, says: “We need to get the population of Wales moving. To do this we must provide inspiring, accessible and diverse activity spaces. Earlier this year, we engaged Alliance Leisure to evaluate the current offer at Carmarthen Leisure Centre and to provide advice and guidance on what could be done to encourage more of the local population to visit. Alliance Leisure has extensive experience of injecting new life into tired leisure facilities and we were excited to explore what could be achieved in Carmarthen. When we saw the plans and worked through the financials, we knew this was a project that we had to get underway.” In August 2018 works began on transforming the under-utilised gymnastics hall into an inspiring, 3-tier, 210 square metre children’s play area and café. The new environment has been supplied by industry experts, Play Revolution, and is designed to encourage children aged 0 to 12 years to climb, hide and slide their way around a matrix of visually stimulating features including tunnels, stepping stones, rope bridges and slides. The area also incorporates a dedicated area for 0-3 year olds. The play space is supported by a new café and lounge area where parents can gather to supervise their children whilst enjoying a range of high quality snacks and beverages.
Carl Daniels, Senior Actif Sport and Leisure Manager, says: “Before the development the gymnastics hall welcomed around £4,000 profit per year. In our first month of opening, the new play area is proving to be on target to generate circa £80k income in play centre. It’s not just the youngsters who have been treated to new facilities. The development has also created a new spin studio. Located in Carmarthen Leisure Centres it’s kitted out with 30 top of the range IC7 Life Fitness spin bikes, this 85 square metre facility has been equipped with state of the art audio and lighting systems to create a stimulating ride like nothing else on offer in the local area. Carl Daniels, Senior Actif Sport and Leisure Manager adds: “The new cycle studio is awesome and out shines any other facility in the area. The community has fully embraced the experience. We have had to significantly expand the provision to meet demand, but with such high quality non-instructed/virtual classes through the Myride® system we can increase class numbers without a significant increase in costs.” The development works completed this month and were managed through the UK Leisure Framework, owned and operated by Denbighshire District County Council with Alliance Leisure as lead contractor. Julia Goddard, Senior Business Development Manager and project lead at Alliance Leisure concludes: “This project has given the leisure centre a new lease of life and made leisure services available to new audiences who were otherwise disengaged. The play area in particular adds a whole new dimension to the offering. In addition to providing a safe, secure space for children to play and explore, it also offers an attractive space for people to meet and socialise.”
Case Study 5 : Batley Sports and Tennis Centre
Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL)
Work has completed at Batley Sports Centre, in Kirklees, creating a 12,000 sq.ft. physical activity and adventure hub to engage youngsters and families of all ages. Charitable trust Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) has invested £1.5 million in the project, delivered by Alliance Leisure under the UK Leisure Framework. The investment has been committed to create a sustainable physical activity hub which will appeal to a wider section of the local community. The new facility results from a reconfiguration of the existing site with two indoor courts transformed into a vibrant play and activity zone, utilising the latest technological innovations designed to motivate and engage tech savvy youngsters. The site has become the first public sector facility to offer TAG active®, a ground-breaking, ‘trainers on’ adventure facility. KAL have named the TAG active® facility ‘ X’ which sits under their ‘Days Out’ brand designed to create awareness of the family attractions available to those within Kirklees and the surrounding West Yorkshire area. Players must use physical movement, speed, agility and strategy to locate and reach hidden transponder boxes. Once found, the box is ‘Tagged’ using an electronic chip imprinted in a wristband. Each time a player tags a box, points are awarded. Electronic scoreboards keep a real-time track of how individuals are performing, with music and mood lighting to enhance the atmosphere and create an exciting, stimulating environment which encourages mental and physical prowess. TAG active® caters for youngsters, with statistics recorded at other centres showing the highest engagement by 11-14 year olds. This facility will be complemented by an Adventure Play zone for toddlers through to seven years old.
The redevelopment of Batley Tennis Centre is part of KAL’s mission to provide engaging, accessible recreation facilities and services which respond to the ever evolving needs of a very diverse community. Batley Tennis Centre is one of 13 leisure sites managed by KAL on behalf of Kirklees Council. Since the formation of the Trust in 2002, more than £20 million has been invested by KAL and Kirklees Council with every surplus pound reinvested into leisure provision. Barry Turnbull, Business Development at KAL, says: “KAL is absolutely committed to developing and sustaining healthier, happier and fitter communities. The indoor adventure area means we have something new to offer the younger generation. A place where families can come together to enjoy physical activity. Encouraging physical literacy at an early age is absolutely vital if we are to address the growing inactivity crisis. Youngsters need to be provided with spaces which enthuse and encourage movement. This investment has been committed to achieve just that.” James Foley, Commercial Director at Alliance, says: “This site is a great example of a council stepping up to the plate when it comes to engaging the latest innovations to encourage an active community. The Adventure Play zone and TAG X will completely transform the facility, bringing vibrancy, sensorial stimulation and an opportunity for youngsters to test their mental and physical skills in a unique fun, safe and exciting environment.” Batley Sports and Tennis Centre continues to offer tennis across four outdoor and two indoor courts. Facilities are also supported by changing facilities, a café and seating area. Tim Harvey, regional director at ISG, which is delivering the construction project on behalf of Alliance Leisure, adds: “Our partners at Alliance Leisure have consistently demonstrated their expertise driving increased footfall to leisure facilities, by redesigning and upgrading leisure provision at existing sites. This is key to making centres more attractive and therefore better utilised by the local communities they serve.”
Case Study 6 : Stadiwm Zip World
Conwy County Council
December 2017 saw the completion of the £250k investment in redeveloping the hospitality suite at Stadiwm Zip World in Colwyn Bay, North Wales. The project was completed on time and under budget, and will allow the borough council to expand its hospitality offering to ensure the future success of the venue. With a capacity of 6,080 for sporting events and 15,000 for concerts, Stadiwm Zip World hosts a variety of concerts, events and sports fixtures including the town’s iconic Access All Eirias music event each summer. It’s also a popular venue for conferences, exhibitions and team building days as well as banquets, weddings and birthday parties.
The borough council wanted to build on the success of the stadium’s hospitality business and appointed Alliance Leisure to extend the Conwy Suite. By building out onto the existing balcony area overlooking the pitch, Alliance Leisure was able to significantly expand the suite effectively doubling seating capacity to 120. The project also included a new bar area, flooring and decor. The result is a bright and vibrant space that’s perfect for hosting a wide range of events. “In these times of austerity, we have to make our resources work harder. Stadiwm Zip World is a hugely popular community asset, and demand for the Conwy Suite had outgrown its capacity. Thanks to this new extension, we can cater for even more events ensuring a more viable business in the future.” John Hardy, Head of Active and Creative Lifestyles at Conwy County Borough Council
Case Study 7 : Rhyl Leisure Centre
Denbighshire County Council
A £1m investment in Rhyl Leisure Centre has seen the redevelopment of the changing and fitness provision to create new activities for the local residents as well as improvements to the existing facility. The first phase of work, which encompassed the complete refurbishment of the swimming pool changing rooms finished in summer 2017, with phase 2 completing in summer 2018. The completed project has encompassed the refurbishment of the upstairs gym, creation of the largest, dedicated functional training space in the area by converting an unused drama studio and a new group cycling studio. A high quality dedicated changing area for members has also been introduced.
A full range of functional kit, from suspension trainers to kettle bells, battle ropes to Bulgarian bags, has been complemented by an Origin, functional rig. This has supported individual training programmes and also allowed for hosting instructor-led, small group, training sessions. A new, dedicated cycle studio, housing Technogym bikes, has been added to the provision, offering instructed and virtual classes to help users train at times convenient to them. “Rhyl Leisure Centre continues to grow and significant investment is being made into the centre. This work was carried out to a high standard and was delivered professionally on a live site with very little impact on our leisure programme. The scheme was delivered on time and within budget. We are extremely pleased with the finished product.” Sion Goldsmith, St Asaph Leisure Centre, Denbighshire County Council
Case Study 8 : Sc2 Rhyl
Denbighshire County Council
The largest development to date has been completed under the UK Leisure Framework and sees the opening of the new leisure complex on Rhyl seafront in North Wales, SC2. The scheme forms part of the wider seafront development in the town and the centre is operated by Denbighshire County Council. SC2 is a £15m new build which replaces an existing skate park and splash pad with a new waterpark and adventure zone destination. The contract has delivered a 13,000 sq ft leisure pool with flumes, slides and water play features, a TAG active adventure zone, a changing village and a café and bar area. Externally, the existing splash pad has been retained, but with additional water play equipment installed, various terraced seating areas and an external food and beverage pod.
The new centre is expected to draw over 350,000 extra visitors per year to the area and create sustainable leisure facilities which will inspire community engagement. The project has seen ISG construct a new steel-frame building, designed in a ‘double wedge’, with a wave-form roof. The building envelope consists of contrasting black and bronze cladding to define the adventure and pool spaces. Curtain walling has provided views across the promenade and external splash pad, and offer framed glimpses of the activity within.