Groundworks near completion at new Ripon Leisure Centre

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The multi-million pound improvement project of Ripon Leisure Centre is taking shape as work progresses to the next stage.

Ground work, known as grouting, is nearing completion along with the installation of the new plant room that will serve the swimming pool. As well as improvements to the existing changing rooms, sports hall and gym area.

Willmott Dixon – the contractor carrying out the works – are now ready to progress with installing the steel frame that will house the new pool. This phase is due to take approximately three weeks.

Due to open next November, the facility will provide a new six-lane 25 metre pool, an extended gym and a refurbishment of the existing leisure centre that will enhance sport and fitness facilities for the local community for years to come.

The pool will be offering a 70 per cent increase in water space compared to the ageing Ripon Spa Baths, and the improved leisure centre will also offer a new main entrance and lobby area, sauna suite, two new activity studios, a spin studio as well as meeting facilities.

The car park has been relocated and will be complemented with a sheltered cycle rack, electric car charging points and a new £100,000 play area will complete the transformation.

Work on the project was temporarily suspended at the end of March due to COVID-19 but resumed at the start of May under social distancing measures.

Councillor Stanley Lumley, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, said:

Understandably, work at Ripon Leisure Centre has been delayed slightly as work needed to stop to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions. But its great news that work is progressing well and we’re entering the next phase.

The addition of the new swimming pool and the improvements to the leisure centre will be a major development for Ripon and the surrounding area. They’ll provide much needed modern facilities that will encourage a healthier and more active lifestyle for our residents and something they can be proud of.

However, our investment into leisure facilities doesn’t stop when the new facility opens in November. We have ambitious plans to invest more than £23million between the Hydro in Harrogate and a new facility in Knaresborough. There are some truly exciting times ahead for sport and leisure facilities in the district.

Anthony Dillon, Willmott Dixon’s managing director in the North, said:

We are proud to be progressing well on this exciting project for the people of Ripon and surrounding area. We know the huge positive impact leisure centres have on the health and well-being of our local communities and we’re creating a top-quality space that really will bring people together for years to come.

We believe in delivering brilliant buildings, transforming lives, strengthening communities and enhancing the environment so our world is fit for future generations; Ripon Leisure Centre is a project that supports every one of those goals and we are committed to investing in local supply chain partners wherever possible as well as creating new local employment opportunities.

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Harrogate Informer