As part of a 10-year development partnership between Lancaster City Council and Alliance Leisure, the first phase of the exciting £5m redevelopment of Salt Ayre Leisure Centre has now been completed.
The project has been delivered in partnership with specialist leisure developer Createability, who have carried out the construction works on the 6605 sq m centre, alongside architects Bignell, Shacklady, Ewing, with the consortium delivering the project from concept stage through to the completion working closely with the Council appointed team.
Alliance Leisure’s development lead, James Foley, says: “The whole ethos for the project has been to create a vibrant environment that stimulates participation by reinvigorating the traditional approach to the health, fitness and wellbeing offer with new technology and solutions.”
The first phase of works is now complete and open to the public. It includes a ground-breaking Les Mills Immersive Studio featuring the Trip ™, a new 80 station fitness suite, a redesigned and fully catered barista-style café, an adventure play area and XHeight climbing wall. The second phase of the project is now well underway.
Simon Kirby, Sports and Leisure Manager at Lancaster City Council, says: “Our aim has been to create an inspirational destination so members of our community and from across the region can come and enjoy a wide range of new and innovative physical activities. This is exactly what Alliance Leisure, Createability and the team of specialist contractors have achieved. We are already experiencing a significant increase in usage with over 300 new fitness members joining since opening a few weeks ago. We anticipate this will rise even further when the project completes in the summer.”
Following market testing and an in-depth fitness product review, Alliance Leisure worked seamlessly with Precor as principal equipment supplier. The gym showcases cardiovascular pieces including the new Experience™ Series EFX® 800 with converging CrossRamp® and fitted with the latest P82 consoles, Discovery ™ Series Power and Half Racks, a range of strength machines and a free standing Queenex functional training unit.
The centre is the first owner-operated local authority facility in the country to offer the full Les Mills Immersive Studio experience. Participants are inspired by cinema quality, live concert experiences and interactive gaming, held in this bespoke themed space and led by live instructors.
Ian Cotgrave, Managing Director of Createability, comments: “This project is one of several currently being undertaken throughout the UK and show cases what refurbishment of older building stock can achieve. The building work at Salt Ayre Sports Centre will totally transform the facility into one of the most outstanding leisure amenities in the area and we are delighted to have worked with the team to achieve this.”
Phase two of the project launched in November when works began on the installation of Europe’s first Flight Tower, a multi-level outdoor tower and epic adventure installation. The ‘Gravity’ concept, brought about by Alliance’s research from successful centres in the US and built by expert adventure builders, Hangfast, will invite people to abseil, zip-line or free-fall from its 60ft platform offering an adrenaline rush like no other.
The final phase of the development will see the design and build of a health and wellbeing hub, housed in a new 540 sq m extension. Utilising the latest innovations in relaxation and holistic treatments, such as a water mill sauna, the spa is scheduled to complete this summer.
In addition to the development project, Alliance Leisure has also entered into a client support partnership with the council to provide support across a variety of core functions including marketing, staff training and sales services to ensure the continued operational and financial success of the project.
Sarah Watts, CEO, Alliance Leisure concludes: “Working hand in hand with the council and our construction partners we will continue to deliver exciting, diverse and sustainable leisure facilities for the whole community. When this project completes in a few months, the people of Lancaster will have a leisure provision to be proud of.”