Contractor begins at Tameside leisure project

Willmott Dixon has started work at the £15m Tameside Wellness Centre, after agreeing a construction contract with Tameside Council and developer Network Space.

The facility, on the brownfield former Oldham Batteries site next to the Lance Corporal Andrew Breeze Way link road in Denton, has been backed by a £1.6m Sport England grant. The link road opened last year.

The centrepiece of the Pozzoni-designed centre will be an eight-lane, 25m competition swimming pool with room for 150 spectators, while it will also include a learner pool, a spa area, fitness suite and ten-pin bowling alley.

Community facilities will include meeting rooms, a soft play area and multi-use studio spaces. The roof space is to house a sensory garden and could also be used for a pop-up cinema, theatre or open air exercise space, the developer said.

Tameside Wellness Centre received planning approval in July and is expected to be completed in spring 2020, from when it will be managed by Active Tameside.

Stephen Barnes, managing director of development at Network Space, said: “Letting this contract is the final piece of the jigsaw in the regeneration of this major town centre site and we are delighted that works have now started.

“The project has demanded patience from all those involved as we have successfully worked through the land assembly, infrastructure, planning and design stages of the project. Throughout these stages, our partnership with Tameside Council has been crucial and we are very pleased to now be delivering such an important project on their behalf.”

Charles Johnston, property director at Sport England, said: “Having easily-accessible sporting centres in the right area is a key part of getting the nation active, and any investment that Sport England makes with National Lottery funding is designed with the community’s needs at its heart.”

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