Fresh from being appointed to deliver a similar project in Urmston, the contractor is set to be chosen to build a £20m replacement for Altrincham’s ageing leisure centre.
Trafford Council started the search for a contractor for the scheme last November.
The latest proposals for Altrincham, outlined last year, are over three storeys, and will include a 25m pool and 25m leisure pool with a moveable floor; there will also be a 100-station fitness suite, which is twice the size of the existing facility, while there are also plans to include a six-court sports hall, squash courts, and party rooms. There will also be a large “changing village” included in the plans.
Trafford Council said the existing leisure centre is “in a very poor state of repair and is now suffering from reducing customer numbers”.
Earlier this month, Place North West revealed ISG had been drafted in to deliver the £7m Urmston Leisure Centre, replacing previous contractor Willmott Dixon, and is now understood to be line to win a deal at Altrincham, ahead of rival bidders including Kier. GT3 is acting as architect.
Overall, the project has a construction cost of around £20m and will be delivered on a design-and-build basis. It is scheduled to complete in the first quarter of 2022. The existing swimming pool will be maintained throughout the two-year build period before being replaced with new swimming facilities; the site of the former pool will be left clear for future development.
Trafford is also looking at the option of including a 500-space multi-storey car park as part of the new leisure centre.
The original intention had been to develop a leisure centre as part of the second phase of Altair, a mixed-use scheme brought forward by developer Nikal on the site of car park between the ice rink, transport interchange, and the existing leisure centre.
However, the council said under this arrangement it “was not possible to build a sustainable leisure centre to the specification required” and that costs had also escalated significantly above the original estimated development cost of £10m.
The move is part of a wider leisure investment strategy that also features investment in Urmston and Sale Leisure Centre; plans suggest a refurbishment of the centre on Broad Road would cost around £17m and would provide a gross internal area of 55,400 sq ft. However, the council stated the building was “approaching the end of its original design life” and refurbishment would “present a far greater risk from a cost and programme perspective”.
As a result, Trafford is looking to put together a further business case for a new-build option on the existing site, along with a residential development to help support the project.