Sustainable Leisure and Wellness Centre Opens in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire Council delivered an early Christmas present to the residents in Knaresborough in the form of a new £17.5 million energy efficient leisure and wellness centre. (December 2023)

The new build centre, developed by Alliance Leisure through the UK Leisure Framework, was originally commissioned by Harrogate Borough Council and is now part of a wider £47.9 million leisure transformation project by the newly Combined North Yorkshire Council. Investment has also delivered an extensive refurbishment of The Harrogate Hydro – rebranded the Harrogate Leisure and Wellness Centre, which creates a network of modern, sustainable leisure and wellness hubs designed to serve the community for many years to come.

In Knaresborough, the new Leisure and Wellness Centre delivers a range of wet and dry facilities for all ages to enjoy. In addition to a six-lane 25-metre pool, complete with pool pod, a leisure pool with flume and a 60-station fitness suite, there is also a sauna and steam room, a group fitness studio, an immersive group cycling studio and a café. Outside, a children’s play area constructed from natural materials will open in the new year and has been designed to blend in with the surroundings. Electric car charge points and bicycle storage have also been added to encourage sustainable travel.

In addition to delivering on facilities and community needs, the new Leisure and Wellness Centre also delivers on energy efficiency. Old school gas boilers have been swapped out for efficient air source heat pumps whilst roof mounted solar panels provide an ongoing source of renewable energy. LED lighting throughout is complimented by a modern building management system and state-of-the-art electrical infrastructure, all contributing to an anticipated 60 per cent reduction in carbon output compared fossil fuelled alternatives.

The Knaresborough Leisure and Wellness Centre, along with the Harrogate Leisure and Wellness Centre and the Jack Laugher Leisure and Wellness Centre are all managed by Brimhams Active, a community health and wellbeing company, wholly owned by North Yorkshire Council.

‘Meeting communities where they are’ has been a mantra of the project. Working alongside Brimham’s, the Alliance TA6 team have been supporting project success with the delivery of strategic marketing, delivering branding personas that truly reflect the philosophy of ‘helping people move more, live well, and feel great across the Harrogate district’.  

All works at Knaresborough Leisure and Wellness Centre has been delivered by leading leisure development specialist Alliance Leisure, working alongside construction partner, ISG and GT3 Architects. Works have been delivered through the UK Leisure Framework, owned by Denbighshire Leisure Ltd (DLL).

By moving the service offer from being a conventional swimming pool to a community health and wellbeing service we aim to help people move more, live well, feel great and reduce the proportion of the population that is physically inactive.
Councillor Simon Myers
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for culture and leisure
In Knaresborough, the new build facility is also achieving BREEAM Excellent status, a recognised third-party certification for sustainability performance. Achieving the 'excellent' standard of efficiency places the development amongst the top performing leisure facilities in the UK when it comes to energy efficiency. This is good news for the council's net zero targets, good news for residents and ultimately, good news for the planet. More than 60 per cent of project works has been delivered via the local supply chain whilst targeted training opportunities have created several apprenticeship opportunities. This development is truly a project delivered by the community for the community and it's been an absolute privilege to be involved.
James Foley
Commercial Director, Alliance Leisure
At Brimhams Active we have a simple vision: to ensure everyone in our community can lead an active, healthy and happy life. The creation of this new Leisure and Wellness Centre provides a modern, safe space where all walks of life, at every stage of life's journey, can come together and enjoy a range of activities from swimming and fitness to dining and relaxing. The investment really does deliver something for everyone. I'm now looking forward to working with my team to bring these facilities to life.
Mark Tweedie
Managing Director, Brimhams Active