Willmott Dixon is strengthening its track-record as a leading provider of leisure, fitness and wellbeing accommodation, with a £10m contact from Harrogate Borough Council to extend an existing leisure centre.
The project will see the company expand Ripon’s leisure centre by building a new 25m pool and associated changing and community areas. Willmott Dixon will also add a new main entrance and lobby to the current centre as well as upgrade the dry leisure facilities with new changing rooms and health suite, two dance studios, a ‘spin’ studio and a meeting room.
Outside, new play areas will be created, while the car park will be reconfigured and a new sheltered cycle rack installed, with a new bridge linking the existing facility and the new-build pool element.
Procured via Major Works England and Northern Ireland, a part of the Scape National Construction framework, Willmott Dixon is working with Pick Everard as architect and Gleeds as QS and project manager. When completed in 2021, the new six-lane pool will provide a 60 per cent increase in water recreation space in Ripon compared to the existing pool facility at nearby Ripon Spa Baths, which is nearing the end of its lifespan and will close when the new pool is open.
Councillor Stanley Lumley, cabinet member for sport, said: “After what seems like many months of planning and discussion, the work to build the new pool is finally underway.
“This represents a significant investment and will provide the people of Ripon with state-of-the-art swimming facilities. Combined with the refurbishment of the leisure centre, we are transforming the sport and leisure offer in this part of the district.”
Willmott Dixon has delivered over £300m of dry and wet leisure facilities over the past three years, and recently produced a report into the growing sector called Creating a leisure legacy. Other current leisure projects include Harpenden Leisure and Cultural Centre, Five Towns Leisure and Wellbeing Hub in Pontefract, Ingleby Barwick Leisure Centre and Tameside Wellness Centre.
Anthony Dillon, Willmott Dixon’s managing director in the North, said, “We have one of the biggest track records in the UK for delivering projects that provide excellent leisure facilities. The creation of top-quality facilities to encourage health and wellbeing are vital to help our communities thrive and what we’ll deliver at Ripon will leave a lasting legacy for many years to come for people in the town and across the region.”
Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive commented, “Harrogate Borough Council are investing in the health and well-being of its community by ensuring their sports and leisure facilities are not only current but fit for the future. By utilising the speed and efficient procurement route Scape Group provides and the proven track record of Willmott Dixon in delivering leisure facilities, Harrogate Borough Council are guaranteeing the Ripon pool and leisure facility upgrade will be delivered with certainty and socio-economic benefits.”