Urmston Leisure Centre August 2018
5plus Architects designed the refurbishment of Urmston Leisure Centre

Urmston leisure centre gets start date as contractor replaced

Charlie Schouten

ISG will deliver the £7m project after Trafford Council and contractor Willmott Dixon, which had been attached to the scheme for more than a year, agreed to part ways.

Place North West first reported Willmott Dixon had secured the contract on a two-stage basis in January last year, but the company is now understood to have walked away from the project, with ISG’s team from the recently-completed Moss Side Leisure Centre due to take over.

Willmott Dixon is understood to have decided against going forward with the redevelopment after being unable to agree a price with Trafford Council’s team.

Construction was originally due to begin early this year and complete in 2020; under the revised timeline, ISG will start work on 1 April, and will complete by February 2020.

Since an original funding package was agreed in November 2016, the project has seen costs more than treble, having originally been budgeted at £2.1m. Upgrade works to the centre’s swimming pool were expected to cost £770,000, but this increased to £1.2m following a report to Trafford Council by project manager Gardiner & Theobald.

The council last year stated the project value at around £6m, but Trafford has now valued the scheme at £7m.

The redevelopment has already undergone a significant redesign by architect 5plus with an updated planning application submitted in August last year and approved in late 2018.

ISG’s project includes the removal of the existing leisure centre’s front section, and replacing it with a double-height reception, entrance, and café space at the centre of the building.

A glazed frontage featuring an indoor climbing wall will face improved public realm to the front, while there will also be a fitness suite with 100 spaces, and a children’s activity area and two party rooms. The pool and sports hall are both to be retained and refurbished.

Once Urmston completes, Trafford will then move forward with the redevelopment of the George H Carnall Leisure Centre. The council was originally planning to build a £40m development on the site featuring a basketball arena, key worker housing, and a new leisure centre, but since last May’s elections, has now decided to take plans back to a public consultation.

ISG and Willmott Dixon both declined to comment.

Cllr Kevin Procter, Trafford Council’s executive member for communities and housing, said: “As a Council we are committed to improving the leisure centre and creating opportunities for people to be active and stay healthy. We all know how important exercise is in preventing illness and improving wellbeing and happiness.

“We will keep disruption to a minimum so people can still enjoy the leisure centre as the work is taking place. The end result of this will be a fabulous, modern leisure centre which will serve the community for many, many years to come. I am very excited to see the end result in February.”

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Hope this is just the leisure centre and not the housing which was proposed before – the volume of traffic is bad enough as it is !!!

By Ann Royle

Rubbish. The swimming facilities are not suitable.. far too small. What about accommodating people who play squash…any squash courts being built as this so called state the art sports facility?

By Anonymous

The £7 million investment in Urmston Sports Centre sounds fantastic, and it will be completed in less than a year, which is a nice bonus.

By LittleTed