Category Archives: Facility Development

Haverhill Leisure Centre Transformation Punches Above its Weight

Abbeycroft Leisure, working in Partnership with Alliance Leisure, has achieved an incredible leisure centre makeover in Suffolk. The seven month transformation project has seen a tired and under-used facility reworked into a modern activity hub, all within the existing footprint, all within a budget of £1.5 million, provided by West Suffolk Council.

“The images speak for themselves”, says Tom Fairey, Senior Business Development Manager and project lead at Alliance Leisure. “Working closely with Abbeycroft Leisure and West Suffolk Council we have created a vibrant, modern environment which caters for the whole community and stands out as one of the county’s leading leisure destinations.”

Forming part of West Suffolk Council’s Indoor Sports Facility Strategy, 2015-2031, the investment has been provided to create a resilient, healthy and active community whilst also providing opportunities for economic growth. The project was managed by Alliance Leisure and procured through the UK Leisure Framework.

Tom Fairey, continues: “It is incredible what has been achieved through a reallocation of space across two floors of the 3,097 square foot building. We retained 2-courts in the sports hall and the rest of the space – equivalent to 3 courts, has been remodelled to create a vibrant XHeight Adventure Climbing facility and soft play zone like nothing else available locally. The community was lacking a facility where families could enjoy time together. This development has successfully addressed this issue.”

The development works have also incorporated the Self Centre Health and Wellbeing facility. This area is served by its own, dedicated waiting space and houses three studios, used mainly for holistic classes such as Pilates and Yoga, plus 5 therapy rooms. The facility’s main occupier is Allied Health Professionals (Suffolk) who are the NHS commissioned provider of MSK physiotherapy services. In addition to enhancing the community wellness offer, this provides a rental opportunity for Abbeycroft Leisure, creating a consistent, new, revenue stream.

The gym has been relocated, extended and kitted out with Matrix Fitness equipment plus a large, new studio space has been created which can be separated into two by a central, sliding wall. Space previously dedicated to two under-used squash courts has been reallocated to house a dedicated group cycle studio and modern ‘hot desk’ office space for staff.

Male and female changing rooms have been completely renovated to create a modern ‘changing village’ and a Paddy and Scott café has been incorporated to create a social hub where families and individuals can enjoy a wide selection of quality food and beverages.

Speaking of the development, Warren Smyth, CEO Abbeycroft Leisure, says: “The leisure centre has been completely remodelled to reflect the needs of our modern day community. Since the development completed in January, we have attracted a 32% increase in footfall and revenue is up 16 per cent for the first quarter. We are also seeing uptake from a much wider demographic.

“Based on our experience, I would encourage any Local Authority with an ageing leisure stock to explore opportunities. Tired facilities with a disconnect to the community are a huge drain on already limited resource but we have proved, even with limited capital investment, it is possible to create a sustainable environment which reengages the community and delivers economic, health and social benefits.

“In these times of austerity, we need to look for creative ways to better serve our communities and, working with Alliance Leisure and West Suffolk Council, this is exactly what we have done here.”

Haverhill Transformation Completed

Alliance Leisure have successfully completed a £1.5m transformation of Haverhill Leisure Centre for West Suffolk Council and Abbeycroft Leisure.  The project has already been hailed a huge success, delivered on time and within budget via the UK Leisure Framework.

New users of all ages packed out the new facilities on opening weekend. The centre remained open to the public throughout the 7 month build project which included:

  • XHeight Adventure Climbing
  • Soft Play
  • Indoor Parkour
  • new enlarged Gym
  • Studios
  • Changing Rooms
  • Paddy & Scott’s café
  • Self-Centre Health & Wellbeing facility, including 3 x Studios and 7 x Treatment Rooms
  • New Reception & circulation areas
  • New Sports Hall floor for the local school!

 

Watch this space for more photos of this outstanding development, and the full story…

Play Hub and Cycle Studio Opens in Carmarthenshire

In a bid to get more children and adults more active, Carmarthenshire County Council has invested almost half a million pounds to reinvigorate its leisure provision and create new inspiring spaces for all age groups.

Obesity is a huge problem in Wales . According to the National Survey of Wales (2016-2017), 59 per cent of adults are overweight and 23 per cent are obese. The Child Measurement Programme also reports 26 per cent of reception aged children are obese compared to 22 per cent in England.

Councillor Peter Hughes-Griffiths, Executive Board Member for Leisure, says: “We need to get the population of Wales moving. To do this we must provide inspiring, accessible and diverse activity spaces. Earlier this year, we engaged Alliance Leisure to evaluate the current offer at Carmarthen Leisure Centre and to provide advice and guidance on what could be done to encourage more of the local population to visit. Alliance Leisure has extensive experience of injecting new life into tired leisure facilities and we were excited to explore what could be achieved in Carmarthen. When we saw the plans and  worked through the financials, we knew this was a project that we had to get underway.”

In August 2018 works began on transforming the under-utilised gymnastics hall into an inspiring, 3-tier, 210 square metre children’s play area and café.

The new environment has been supplied by industry experts, Play Revolution, and is designed to encourage children aged 0 to 12 years to climb, hide and slide their way around a matrix of visually stimulating features including tunnels, stepping stones, rope bridges and slides. The area also incorporates a dedicated area for 0-3 year olds. The play space is supported by a new café and lounge area where parents can gather to supervise their children whilst enjoying a range of high quality snacks and beverages.

Carl Daniels, Senior Actif Sport and Leisure Manager, says: “Before the development the gymnastics hall welcomed around £4,000 profit per year.  In our first month of opening, the new play area is proving to be on target to generate circa £80k income in play centre.

It’s not just the youngsters who have been treated to new facilities. The development has also created a new spin studio. Located in Carmarthen Leisure Centres it’s kitted out with 30 top of the range IC7 Life Fitness spin bikes, this 85 square metre facility has been  equipped with state of the art audio and lighting systems to create a stimulating ride like nothing else on offer in the local area.

Carl Daniels, Senior Actif Sport and Leisure Manager adds: “The new cycle studio is awesome and out shines any other facility in the area. The community has fully embraced the experience. We have had to significantly expand the provision to meet demand, but with such high quality non-instructed/virtual classes through the Myride® system we can increase class numbers without a significant increase in costs.”

The development works completed this month and were managed through the UK Leisure Framework, owned and operated by Denbighshire District County Council with Alliance Leisure as lead contractor.

Julia Goddard, Senior Business Development Manager and project lead at Alliance Leisure concludes: “This project has given the leisure centre a new lease of life and made leisure services available to new audiences who were otherwise disengaged. The play area in particular adds a whole new dimension to the offering. In addition to providing a safe, secure space for children to play and explore, it also offers an attractive space for people to meet and socialise.”

ALLIANCE APPOINTED AS DEVELOPMENT PARTNER ON THE CHARD REGENERATION PROJECT

South Somerset District Council has appointed leisure development specialists, Alliance Leisure, to work with multi award-winning architecture and building consultancy practice, AHR, to build a brand-new leisure and community facility in Chard’s Town Centre.  The new leisure and community facilities will be at the heart of the Chard Regeneration project.

Julia Goddard, Senior Business development Manager at Alliance Leisure, said: “Over the next few months we will work closely with architects AHR to produce outline plans for the overall development. We will also create full design plans for the new leisure centre, aiming for submission by July 2019. Once planning permissions are granted, works will start on the demolition of the factories and warehouses.”

Karle Burford, director at AHR, said “We are thrilled to be working with the Council on the proposals to bring forward a mixed-use community scheme, redeveloping the historic Boden Mill site that includes the former ACI factory site.

Our shared vision to instil the historic nature of the town within the design is integral to the project, and we look forward to harmonising the old with the new. The first phase of the scheme will be designing the brand-new leisure centre, with modern facilities for families to enjoy for years to come.”

The new leisure centre will offer a diverse array of facilities to meet the health and wellbeing needs of the community. These are likely to include: a 25 metre swimming pool; a gym; group exercise studios; an adventure play area; changing rooms and a café.

Councillor Jo Roundell Greene, portfolio holder for the Chard Regeneration Scheme and Deputy Leader of South Somerset District Council, said: “Feedback from a series of public consultations has revealed that people want the development to include: a leisure centre with swimming pool; more places to eat and socialise; improved leisure opportunities for young people; green open spaces and opportunities for small, independent retailers to thrive.  We are working with Alliance Leisure to help plan and build this vision.

Alex Parmley the Chief Executive Officer at South Somerset District Council said “Alliance Leisure has years of experience delivering modern leisure developments in tune with community needs. Our new partnership, through the Leisure Framework, will ensure we deliver a mix of facilities and services which offer the local population most value both now and in the future.”

The Boden Mill itself will be redeveloped into a culture and public sector hub with a library, satellite museum, with the police, council and other local service providers who are also likely to be housed in the new facility. Conversion of the upper floors will create a number of residential units for rent or purchase.

All surrounding areas will be landscaped to create an attractive public realm that can be used for social gatherings, public art and community events. The nearby Holyrood Lace Mill will also transformed into a residential development offering a much needed housing solution.

The works will be carried out in phases starting with the new leisure centre and will complete at the end of 2020, subject to planning approval in summer 2019.

BATLEY SPORTS & TENNIS CENTRE LAUNCHES TECH DRIVEN PLAY AND ACTIVITY HUB

Work has completed at Batley Sports Centre, in Kirklees, creating a 12,000 sq.ft. physical activity and adventure hub to engage youngsters and families of all ages.

Charitable trust Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) has invested £1.5 million in the project, delivered by Alliance Leisure under the UK Leisure Framework. The investment has been committed to create a sustainable physical activity hub which will appeal to a wider section of the local community.

The new facility results from a reconfiguration of the existing site with two indoor courts transformed into a vibrant play and activity zone, utilising the latest technological innovations designed to motivate and engage tech savvy youngsters.

The site has become the first public sector facility to offer TAG active®, a ground-breaking, ‘trainers on’ adventure facility. KAL have named the TAG active® facility ‘  X’ which sits under their ‘Days Out’ brand designed to create awareness of the family attractions available to those within Kirklees and the surrounding West Yorkshire area.

Players must use physical movement, speed, agility and strategy to locate and reach hidden transponder boxes. Once found, the box is ‘Tagged’ using an electronic chip imprinted in a wristband. Each time a player tags a box, points are awarded.

Electronic scoreboards keep a real-time track of how individuals are performing, with music and mood lighting to enhance the atmosphere and create an exciting, stimulating environment which encourages mental and physical prowess.

TAG active® caters for youngsters, with statistics recorded at other centres showing the highest engagement by 11-14 year olds. This facility will be complemented by an Adventure Play zone for toddlers through to seven years old.

The redevelopment of Batley Tennis Centre is part of KAL’s mission to provide engaging, accessible recreation facilities and services which respond to the ever evolving needs of a very diverse community. Batley Tennis Centre is one of 13 leisure sites managed by KAL on behalf of Kirklees Council. Since the formation of the Trust in 2002, more than £20 million has been invested by KAL and Kirklees Council with every surplus pound reinvested into leisure provision.

Barry Turnbull, Business Development at KAL, says: “KAL is absolutely committed to developing and sustaining healthier, happier and fitter communities. The indoor adventure area means we have something new to offer the younger generation. A place where families can come together to enjoy physical activity. Encouraging physical literacy at an early age is absolutely vital if we are to address the growing inactivity crisis. Youngsters need to be provided with spaces which enthuse and encourage movement. This investment has been committed to achieve just that.”

James Foley, Commercial Director at Alliance, says: “This site is a great example of a council stepping up to the plate when it comes to engaging the latest innovations to encourage an active community. The Adventure Play zone and TAG X will completely transform the facility, bringing vibrancy, sensorial stimulation and an opportunity for youngsters to test their mental and physical skills in a unique fun, safe and exciting environment.”

Batley Sports and Tennis Centre continues to offer tennis across four outdoor and two indoor courts. Facilities are also supported by changing facilities, a café and seating area.

Tim Harvey, regional director at ISG, which is delivering the construction project on behalf of Alliance Leisure, adds: “Our partners at Alliance Leisure have consistently demonstrated their expertise driving increased footfall to leisure facilities, by redesigning and upgrading leisure provision at existing sites. This is key to making centres more attractive and therefore better utilised by the local communities they serve.”

WORK STARTS AT LONG STRATTON

Work has started on site this week at Long Stratton Leisure Centre, which is undergoing a £2m re-development by Alliance Leisure in partnership with South Norfolk District Council.

The improvements include a re-built two storey frontage to the building, with a new Gym, Soft Play, Café, Studios and Changing facilities for both members and the local School users.

The development will provide exciting, new facilities for the local community and will engage with a wider market of users to increase leisure participation. The project is due for completion at the end of December 2018. Watch this space for updates!

YORKSHIRE LEISURE CENTRE TO OFFER 24 HOUR GYM ACCESS FOLLOWING £2.5 MILLION REFURBISHMENT

As part of a 26-week refurbishment project, with an investment total of £2.5 million, Northallerton Leisure Centre has opened the doors to its gym facility 24 hours a day to enable the centre to provide a more flexible service to the local community.

The investment project, commissioned and funded mainly by Hambleton District Council with a £213,000 contribution from Sport England towards swim changing improvements, has seen the construction of a new 5,100sq ft extension to house a fully equipped fitness suite, supplied by Technogym and complete with new functional training area and rig. A toning suite has also been added to attract a new segment of the market and the original fitness space has been renovated to include a general purpose studio and a group cycling studio.

Speaking of the renovations, Steve Lister, Head of Service, Leisure and Environment, says: “The investment has breathed new life into our fitness provision, enabling us to offer residents a new standard in quality and variety of training options. We have also installed technology which, using unique access codes and single person entry ‘pods’, makes it safe and secure to offer 24 hour access to the fitness facilities. This gives people more opportunity to fit physical activity into busy schedules and helps us in our ambition to get a higher percentage of the local population engaged in regular exercise.”

The investment has also seen general repair and upgrade works to the existing water slides, flumes and wave machine in the pool area. The pool surround has been replaced and new shower facilities added.

The Changing Village has been completely reconfigured. In addition to the inclusion of more lockers and changing cubicles, the facilities now boost Changing Places approval, recognising the improved accessibility for people with a disability.

As principle contractor on the project, Alliance Leisure employed ISG to carry out the works as part of a 10-year partnership agreement. Speaking of the project, James Foley, Commercial Director at Alliance, says: “This project is an excellent example of how the public and private sector are working together to deliver against Sport England’s objective to encourage more participation in physical activity. Northallerton Leisure Centre is now an accessible, modern and inviting hub where all ages and abilities can meet and enjoy a full range of physical activities.

“The whole project has been delivered, on time, on budget and in a live environment with minimal disruption to service throughout. The investment means that the local community now has a modern-day activity hub which will provide a sustainable leisure provision for many years to come.”