Council set to carry out ground stabilisation works to ensure people in Ripon can keep fit and active for years to come

Harrogate Borough Council is set to ensure people in Ripon can keep fit and active for years to come by carrying out ground stabilisation works underneath the original leisure centre.

A report due to be presented to the borough council's executive on 17 August will provide an update on the investigation works that took place earlier this year.

These investigations came about following the discovery of a void underneath part of the original leisure centre. The void is understood to have been present for a number of years and was only discovered when the reinforced concrete slab, which provides the foundation for the new swimming pool, was cast.

Upon discovery of this void, the borough council appointed a contractor to carry out a thorough investigation programme to determine what works are required to ensure the original leisure centre facility can be refurbished as planned and continue to be used for many years to come.

Since the leisure centre was first built in 1995, there has been a monumental improvement in engineering technology to assess ground conditions. The contractor has used this technology to produce a comprehensive report and programme of work, which will be provided to the cabinet.

If approved by the cabinet on 17 August, the investment project is due to start in the autumn. Once the stabilisation works are complete - anticipated to be the following autumn - the first floor of the original leisure centre will reopen.

The remainder of the refurbishment work - which includes an extended gym, two new activity studios, a spin studio as well as meeting facilities - will also continue after this date.

The new six-lane 25metre swimming, sauna and swim suite, changing village, reception area and foyer will remain open throughout for customers and members to enjoy.

A temporary gym, which will also be discussed at the cabinet meeting on 17 August, will open to coincide with this stabilisation work. The temporary gym will include the high-quality, state-of-the-art Technogym equipment currently available in the existing leisure and wellness centre. As well as the expert advice and guidance from the Brimhams Active team.

Councillor Stanley Lumley, Harrogate Borough Council's cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, and chair of the board of directors at Brimhams Active, said: "By addressing these historic issues it allows us the opportunity to further invest in the facility and ensure future generations will be able to access modern sport and leisure facilities in their city for many years to come.

"And by providing a temporary gym, while the ground stabilisation works take place, we can minimise the disruption to current and potential customers and ensure they can continue to maintain their health and wellbeing goals."

The multi-million-pound investment project in Ripon is complimented by a refurbishment of the Hydro in Harrogate and a new facility in Knaresborough.

The existing gym and leisure facilities at the Hydro are currently being refurbished, along with the introduction of a new diving platform, a 400sqm fitness suite, a new sauna and steam suite, and improved reception and café.

The new facility leisure and wellness centre in Knaresborough will provide a six-lane 25metre pool, activity pool with flume, sauna and steam room, fitness suite and studio, spin studio, café, electric car charging points, bicycle storage and large modern play area.

Both will incorporate high-efficiency building materials, air source heat pumps and solar panels to reduce the carbon footprint and contribute to the council's vision to have a net zero-carbon economy by 2038.

Councillor Lumley added: "This project in Ripon accompanies our multi-million-pound investment at the Hydro in Harrogate and a new facility in Knaresborough that will ensure future generations will have modern facilities that will encourage a healthier and more active lifestyle and something they can be proud of."

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Published: 2nd August 2022