A new multi-million leisure complex in Knaresborough will open up opportunities for the local community to bring health and fitness into their everyday lives, leading figures have said.
The £17.5 million health and wellness centre officially opens to the public on Monday next week (December 11), bringing state-of-the-art swimming and fitness provision to the market town. The centre includes a six-lane 25-metre pool, a leisure pool with flume, a 60-station fitness suite, a studio for group fitness classes, a bespoke group cycling studio, sauna and steam rooms, a café and an outdoor children’s play area.
And the new building will be more efficient than the former one – the carbon output of the previous leisure centre has been reduced by more than 60 per cent. The gas boiler was replaced with sustainably efficient air source heat pumps and solar panels installed to provide a source of renewable energy. Alongside LED lighting, upgraded building management systems and improved electrical supplies will increase energy efficiency.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, Cllr Simon Myers, said: “By moving the service offer from being a conventional swimming pool to a community health and wellbeing service we aim to help people move more, live well, feel great and reduce the proportion of the population that is physically inactive.
“We look forward to welcoming the public into the facility next week.”
North Yorkshire Council’s strategic development partner, Alliance Leisure, has been tasked with the construction of the building and installing the environmentally friendly measures.
The director of Alliance Leisure, James Foley, said: “The UK’s stock of ageing and inefficient leisure facilities makes a significant contribution to carbon emissions, so it’s encouraging to be collaborating with ambitious local authorities like North Yorkshire Council to decarbonise important assets like Knaresborough.
“It will a create clean and energy efficient leisure centre to help meet the nation’s net zero targets, and in the long-term will also result in considerable operational savings. Good news for the council’s net zero targets, good news for residents and ultimately, good news for the planet.”
He said the investment has also seen multiple benefits and social value brought back to the community, with more than 60 per cent of the project’s works spent within the local supply chain, targeted training opportunities, and more than 150 weeks using apprentices on the Knaresborough scheme.
The chief executive of North Yorkshire Sports, David Watson, whose charity promotes active lifestyles in the county, said: “I am delighted to see this fantastic new facility open in Knaresborough that will serve as a huge asset to the local community.
“Thirty-three years after the first pool was built in the town, this new facility retains the spirit of the original, with a pool and flume, but also adds much needed activity space with the new studios and fitness suite.
“Being active is an essential part of living a healthy life and having access to a range of opportunities, including facilities such as this, makes it easier for people to build physical activity into their daily lives.”
All the centres are managed day-to-day by Brimhams Active, the council’s health and wellbeing company.
Its chief executive, Mark Tweedie, said: “At Brimhams Active we have a simple vision – to ensure everyone in our community can lead an active, healthy, and happy life.
“The creation of this new leisure and wellness centre provides a modern, safe space where all walks of life, at every stage of life’s journey, can come together and enjoy a range of activities from swimming, gym and group exercise, to eating and relaxing. The investment really does deliver something for everyone. I’m now looking forward to working with my team to bring these facilities to life.”
The centre has been developed next to the old Knaresborough Pool, which was built in 1990 and last refurbished 20 years ago.
The Mayor of Knaresborough and North Yorkshire Council’s member for the Knaresborough East division, Cllr Hannah Gostlow, said: “I am delighted to see the new centre ready for the public – it is a great asset for the community and opens up new opportunities for them to enjoy.”
And her colleague, the member for Knaresborough West division, Cllr Matt Walker, added:
“We now have one of the most energy efficient centres in our market town which will help us achieve our carbon neutral goals while at the same time increasing the leisure offer to our residents and visitors.”
More information on the centre including opening times, memberships, services and the classes available is available on the Brimhams Active website at https://www.brimhamsactive.co.uk