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The project has been in the pipeline since 2018

Approval for £20m Widnes leisure centre 

Dan Whelan

Halton Council has approved plans for the 50,000 sq ft complex on Moor Lane, paving the way for contractor Wates Construction to start on site. 

The centre, designed by architect Ellis Williams, will replace the ageing Kingsway Leisure Centre with a 25-metre swimming pool, a 100-station gym, a sports hall, squash court, and soft play area. 

It will be built next to the Alexandra Industrial Estate, which is located off Moor Lane and bordered by Ellis Street and Witt Road. The site is currently used as a bus depot and space for a car hire company. 

Work is scheduled to complete by October 2022. 

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Main contractor Wates Construction has been appointed to build the facility

The project has been in the council’s pipeline since 2018, when it commissioned Wates to undertake a feasibility study on the possibility of delivering a new 50,000 sq ft leisure centre. 

In 2019, Halton Council agreed to fund the construction of the facility through borrowing. Plans for the project were then submitted to the council in May 2020. 

Consultancy Avison Young has advised the council on planning matters and the professional team also includes consultancies Ramboll and Keelagher Okey Klein. 

Meanwhile, Halton has also granted outline approval to developer DMG Irwell to build an apartment scheme on Irwell Lane in Runcorn. 

The three-storey development has been designed by architect Falconer Chester Hall. A reserved matters application will be submitted once the design has been finalised, according to the developer. 

The final scheme could feature either 33 apartments or 32 extra care flats aimed at over-55s. 

Existing buildings on the site east of Astmoor Industrial Estate would be demolished under the proposals. 

FCH Halton DMG

Falconer Chester Hall designed the project

SATPLAN is the planning consultant for the project. 

DMG Irwell is led by directors Dan Macintyre, Peter Underhill and Falconer Chester Hall director Mike Gore. 

Macintyre said: “It’s important in a local market such as Runcorn that our development fully satisfies local demand and needs. I’m expecting a productive period working with planning officers to finalise the scheme.” 

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