Knowsley leisure centre completes

A £21m leisure centre in Huyton designed by Broadway Malyan and built by Balfour Beatty Construction has been officially opened.

Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park is nearly 71,000 sq ft and contains two 25-metre pools, a gym, sports hall and spa, as well as performance, events and conference facilities. The centre was opened by Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman.

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Knowsley Council will operate the complex and funded most of it. Included in the scheme is OurPlace, a Big Lottery-funded My Place Youth Club, with the design and construction the result of a close collaboration between Broadway Malyan's design team and Knowsley Youth Forum. This will be a new space for 13-19 year olds to meet and take part in a range of activities using new external sports facilities which include a skate park, media suite, dance studio and training kitchen with café.

Matt Brook, director of Broadway Malyan, said: "The official opening is the final milestone in this major scheme and is testament to our Liverpool-based design experts working in close partnership with the client. The finished result represents a new breed of mixed-use public building through the consolidation of circulation space into one central, naturally day-lit atrium, from which all facilities can be viewed and accessed. This also doubles up as a social and event space and increases passive surveillance within the building to create a safer and more secure environment."

The external profiled roofscapes of the main Park building and that of the smaller Club have been designed to respond to the surrounding landscape and internal uses and they combine to create a clear public entrance featuring a dynamic LED feature wall.

The Club has been designed with its own identity and street frontage and is of a scale and rhythm to mediate the scale of the main building down to that of the wider residential streetscape.

Sustainable features include a renewable energy generation through a biomass pellet boiler, resulting in the scheme being rated 'BREEAM Very Good'.

Balfour was the QS, Ramboll was the M&E engineer, Gifford the structural engineer and SLR designed the landscaping.

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