This month, thanks to a multi-million-pound investment by Harrogate Borough Council, Alliance Leisure begins works on the delivery of two extensive leisure developments that will transform leisure provision for the communities of Harrogate and Knaresborough whilst also supporting the Councils Net Zero Carbon ambitions.
In Harrogate, The Hydro will benefit from an extension and refurbishment of existing facilities to include a 400sqm fitness suite, a new sauna and steam suite, improved reception, and café plus an overhaul of the existing pool and leisure facilities. The diving structure will also be replaced so it can continue to support and nurture young talent in the way that it has done for Olympians, such as Jack Laugher MBE and Oliver Dingley.
Externally, the building will be remodelled to complement the surrounding environment with landscaping, a reconfigured car park, bicycle storage and electric vehicle charging points.
Energy efficient, air source heat pumps will replace the existing gas boilers and 250 solar panels are already in the process of being installed along with new energy monitoring and control systems.
James Foley, Commercial Director and strategic project lead, Alliance Leisure, says: “Funding for these game changing energy efficiency measures is the result in part of a successful bid we prepared for the Council to submit to the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. Measures are expected to half the carbon footprint of the leisure centre. Good news for the council’s net zero targets, good news for residents and ultimately, good news for the planet.”
The project will be carried out in phases with the refurbished pool hall and changing village re-opening in January 2023 and the ‘dry side’ activity space completing by April 2023.
In Knaresborough, a new-build leisure and wellness centre will provide a six-lane 25metre pool, activity pool with flume, sauna and steam room, fitness suite and studio, group cycle studio and café. Outside a large modern play area will be added, with sustainable travel encouraged through the installation of electric car charging points and bicycle storage.
The centre will be built to a BREEAM standard of ‘excellent’ and will incorporate high efficiency building materials, air source heat pumps and solar panels to reduce the carbon footprint.
Foley adds: “BREEAM is a recognised scheme that provides third-party certification for the assessment of the sustainability performance of individual buildings. Meeting the ‘excellent’ standard of efficiency will support the Council’s ambition to deliver a net zero-carbon economy by 2038.”
Work starts on Knaresborough on 26 April and are due to be completed by July 2023.
Foley adds: “These two developments at an investment of circa £28m will transform leisure provision for thousands of people. Built to accommodate a wide array of community needs plus the integration of modern, energy efficient measures ensure these facilities will be fit for purpose both now and for many years to come.”
Both projects will be delivered by Alliance Leisure, working with ISG Construction and GT3 architects through the UK Leisure Framework which is owned and managed by Denbighshire Leisure.
Once complete, facilities will be managed by Brimhams Active, a community health and wellbeing company owned by Harrogate Borough Council, dedicated to creating ‘a healthier more active population living longer more independent and happier lives’.