Further investment in leisure facilities to ensure people can continue to keep fit and active

Harrogate Borough Council is set to invest a further £1million to ensure people can continue to keep fit and active for years to come.

Work is already well underway to provide a new 400sqm fitness suite, a new sauna and steam suite, improved reception and café, as well as an overhaul of the existing facilities, at the Hydro in Harrogate.

Outside, the building is being remodelled to provide a reconfigured car park, bicycle storage and electric vehicle charging points.

The existing gas boilers have been replaced with air-source heat pumps and 250 solar panels, along with new metering and energy monitoring and control systems. These energy efficiency measures come following a successful bid from the borough council through the government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) public sector decarbonisation scheme, and are anticipated to half the carbon footprint of the leisure centre.

The diving structure is also being replaced so that it can continue to create and nurture future Olympians.

As is often the case when refurbishing an existing building, some additional areas of work have been discovered that only came to light when the building was closed and a strip-out of the internal fabric had taken place.

This includes some improvements to the fire protection of the steel frame, replacement of corroded steelwork, replacement of soffit boarding, renewal of the existing moveable floor in the diving pool and resolution of heat loss between the roof and the external walls.

To help fund this additional work, and to ensure the building conforms to the latest legislation and is as energy-efficient as possible, the council have allocated a further £915,264.55*.

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: "At a time when some local authorities across the country are reviewing their investments in leisure facilities, we remain committed to ensuring people across the Harrogate district can keep fit and active for many years to come.

"By carrying out this additional work now, while the facility is closed, we can ensure the building is fit for purpose and can conform to the latest legislation and building regulations.

"And at a time of increasing energy costs, we are helping to offset this by making the leisure centre as energy-efficient as possible. And thanks to a government grant of some £1.8million, it will be able to utilise renewal energy."

The council now anticipates the facility opening next summer (date TBC).

In Knaresborough, the leisure and wellness centre is on target to open at the end next summer as construction work has benefitted from good ground conditions and weather.

Once complete it will provide a six-lane 25-metre pool, activity pool with flume, sauna and steam room, fitness suite and studio, spin studio, café, electric car charging points and bicycle storage. It will also incorporate high-efficiency building materials, air source heat pumps and solar panels to reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption.

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Published: 19th December 2022