Alliance Leisure Defies Pandemic And Completes Three Leisure Developments On Time And On Budget

Three significant leisure build projects have defied lockdown challenges, completing on time and on budget.

Managed by Alliance Leisure via the UK Leisure Framework, owned by Denbighshire Council and managed by Denbighshire Leisure, Newmarket Leisure Centre in West Suffolk,  Colwyn Leisure Centre in North Wales and Cossington Street Sport Centre in Leicester have all undergone extensive makeovers through the pandemic to realign their provision to the needs of the community they serve.

The £1.8 million development at Newmarket Leisure Centre is the second project to be awarded to Alliance Leisure by West Suffolk Council and follows the success of the development delivered by the same team at Haverhill Leisure Centre. Works began in November 2019 and completed July 2020 with works continuing through most of lockdown.

Designed by Saunders Boston Architects, the project team worked within the current building footprint to remodel the space and create new facilities designed to increase participation in regular physical activity among all segments of the local community.

These include a new soft play facility with a dedicated sensory room, a second exercise studio and an extension to the gym creating a functional training zone, with the addition of a new EGYM facility to attract a new user demographic. The centre, which is managed by Abbeycroft Leisure, also now benefits from new gym changing facilities, a new reception area and access control as well as a new Paddy & Scott’s style café, party and meeting rooms.

When Colwyn Leisure Centre on the Eirias Park leisure development in North Wales opened its doors post lockdown, visitors were greeted by a completely reimagined fitness suite.

“The government announcement in March that closed businesses across the UK was obviously a huge concern and we worried that works on Eirias Park would become very difficult,” says Alliance Leisure’s Business Development Manager, Will Gardner. “Fortunately, thanks to a solid supply chain and the strict adherence to health and safety guidance ensuring the safeguarding of workers, the project was able to progress, uninterrupted.”

The fitness suite in Colwyn Leisure Centre has been completely reconfigured. Two small, very tired studio spaces have been incorporated into the main gym, creating an open plan 397  square metre  training space housing a full complement of Technogym strength and cardiovascular equipment. In addition, an Origin rig takes centre stage in the functional training area, providing a multitude of new training opportunities for users. New specialist flooring was also laid throughout the free weight and functional areas. At the moment, the sports hall is being utilised to host some gym equipment, helping the centre to manage social distancing.

In a separate, dedicated building on the same sports complex, the Eirias Performance Gym, utilised by the national rugby team and the community, has benefited from a complete new floor. Will Gardner explains: “Years of heavy weights being dropped had taken its toll on the floor’s structure resulting in a need to replace the sub floor and apply new screed. Sports performance specialist, Perform Better then laid a 32mm Duratrain floor with an astroturf sled track down the middle and a dedicated matted wrestle area in one corner.

The £632,000 development project was funded by funded by Conwy County Borough Council. Works began in February 2020 and continued through lockdown to complete, on time and well under budget, at the end of June.

In Leicester, one of the UK’s worst hit coronavirus areas, Alliance Leisure remodelled a traditional, under-utilised sports hall into a flexible workout space at Cossington Street Sports centre, forming part of a £2.3 million leisure regeneration scheme with Leicester City Council.

Tom Fairey, Senior Development Manager at Alliance leisure, says:  “The superb hall conversion will accommodate a fully equipped gym and free weight section, with a studio space defined by a specialist sprung floor, half height partitioning plus independent lighting and audio systems. This innovative design, enhanced with daylight from new windows to the hall, provides a unique and modern open-plan fitness environment that will engage with many more users. Great news for Leicester following very difficult times during the pandemic”

The changing spaces have also been reconfigured and modernised, plus the entrance has been relocated to create a more welcoming space for visitors. The whole project took 6 months to complete

Speaking about the three projects, James Foley, Commercial Manager at Alliance Leisure, says: ““The team has worked incredibly hard to complete these projects on time despite the challenges caused by Covid-19 and lockdown. At a time when the government is urging the nation to get fit and lose weight, these improved facilities will attract new users to the centre and drive new revenue streams to help the centre have a sustainable future.”