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Willmott Dixon back for second Wakefield leisure centre in a year

Following Willmott Dixon’s successful completion of Minsthorpe Leisure Centre for Wakefield Council, the company has also been successfully appointed by the council for a £17m contract to build Five Towns Leisure and Wellbeing Hub in Pontefract.

The hub will be the largest of its kind ever built in the Wakefield district, featuring facilities such as a 10-lane swimming pool, studio pool with moveable floor and a splash pad water confidence area. There will also be a gym, exercise studios, dedicated spin studio, climbing activity, café, meeting and referral rooms for community use, while outside there will be four tennis courts, a wellbeing garden and interactive play area, a full size 3G artificial grass pitch and car parking.

During a visit to site, Cllr Jacquie Speight, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member, said: “The benefits (of this project) are enormous and will have a lasting impact and a role in tackling health issues such as childhood obesity, long-term respiratory and circulatory diseases and mental health conditions.”

Construction work on the hub, which is located in Pontefract Park, will complete in autumn 2020 with the project procured via Major Works England and Northern Ireland, a part of the Scape National Construction framework.

Willmott Dixon is working with GT+3 Architect, ARCADIS Design & Consultancy as project manager and Waterman Group, structural engineers.

This is the latest in a series of leisure schemes worth over £200m that Willmott Dixon has been appointed to build in the last three years. Recent examples of how Willmott Dixon is improving the provision of health, well-being and fitness facilities to communities include Littlehampton Wave Leisure Centre, Winchester Sport and Leisure Park, Sapphire Ice Rink and Swimming Pool in Romford, Elmbridge Xcel Sports Hub, University of Warwick’s Sports Hub and Stone Leisure Centre.

The company was also recently appointed to deliver a new leisure and cultural centre in Harpenden by altering the existing swimming pool building in Rothamsted Park to provide an improved main pool, as well as new 17 metre-long learner pool, a sports hall and a larger gym.

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in North, said, “The team are exceptionally proud of what we created with Minsthorpe Leisure Centre, which has been an important new addition in the south east of Wakefield District. Five Towns Leisure is part a new breed of facility by local authorities that are more like community hubs, offering a wide range of activities and services for local people, and we are looking forward to making another big impact in Wakefield by expanding the District’s leisure and community facilities with Five Towns Leisure.”