Monmouth Leisure Centre

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 insulation 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.