Following approval by South Somerset District Council in September, works are finally underway on the regeneration of Chard, Somerset.Demolition of existing buildings on the industrial site at Boden Mill in the town centre began this month in preparation  for the construction of a modern leisure centre housing a gym, a 25 metre swimming pool, exercise studios, adventure play facility and a café.

Alliance Leisure has been appointed to manage the project under the UK Leisure Framework, and will work alongside building contractor Speller Metcalfe, plus architecture and building consultancy practice AHR.

Julia Goddard, Senior Business Development Manager at Alliance Leisure, says: “The construction of a leisure centre is the direct result of a number of public consultations. It is fantastic to finally see the bulldozers on site, marking the beginning of a project that will reinvigorate this under-utilised part of the town and encourage a more active, healthy and happy community.”

In addition to the leisure centre, approval has also been granted for the conversion and extension of an existing building to create a new library and community hub. Future phases of the development include proposals for housing, commercial units and public realm improvements.

Speaking about the development, Alex Parmley, Chief Executive and Sponsor of the Chard Regeneration Scheme, says:  “The Boden Mill site has been derelict for many years and bringing it back in to use is an essential part of moving the town forward. With the regeneration of the site taking place over the coming years, this scheme will help to bring more footfall to the town centre, increase the vitality and help to boost businesses locally.”

Demolition works are expected to complete by Spring 2020. Phase 1 works to construct the new leisure centre will then get underway and are expected to complete by summer 2021.