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Willmott Dixon selected for £23.7m Medway leisure centre

Willmott Dixon has been appointed by Medway Council to deliver ‘Splashes’, a new leisure centre with swimming pools, gym, fitness studio and cafe.

The family-friendly facility will have two swimming pools – a children’s fun pool with flume, wave ball pool and beach area, and a training pool for lane swimming and lessons, along with a fitness gym and room for exercise classes and children’s parties.

Building work at the site in Bloors Lane, Rainham, will begin in the new year with the intention that residents can use the new Splashes by summer 2024.

Medway’s new leisure centre supports the council’s ambition of providing more child-friendly facilities and further opportunities for young people, including family and accessible changing rooms. There will also be electric charging parking spaces in support of Medway’s Climate Change and carbon neutral aims and ambitions.

Medway Council is investing £23.7million on the development, replacing the former and much-loved Splashes, which was demolished in February 2022 after extensive surveys were carried out to assess the building’s condition.

Cllr Howard Doe, deputy leader of Medway Council and portfolio holder for Community Services, said: “I am pleased that construction will soon get underway for a modern, family-friendly leisure centre. The new development in Rainham will provide residents with greater opportunities to enjoy leisure facilities on their doorstep. Customers will be able to visit the gym, join-in an exercise class, take a dip in the pool and even relax in a café overlooking the pool areas.

“Splashes opened in 1990 and was not only a facility where many of Medway’s now adult population learnt to swim, but it also likely hosted their birthday parties as children. I am so pleased that we will once again be able to provide a family-friendly leisure facility for Medway residents to visit and enjoy.”

Adam Worrall, director at Willmott Dixon said:

“We are delighted to be working with Medway Council to deliver this cutting-edge leisure centre for its residents to enjoy.  Through our network of local supply chain partners and our embedded social value programme, we look forward to leaving a lasting legacy in the local community well after completion. We can’t wait to get started!”

This new generation leisure centre represents the latest in Willmott Dixon’s extensive track-record in Kent.  The company has developed three of the buildings at The University of Kent’s Canterbury campus – the business school, school of economics and medical school – and completed two projects for North Kent College – a performing arts building and a motor vehicle workshop.  Earlier this year, it completed The Amelia Scott in Tunbridge Wells, which involved regenerating a grade II listed building into a cultural and learning hub.