Approval given to provide modern and energy-efficient leisure facilities in Harrogate and Knaresborough

This week (1 March), Harrogate Borough Council’s decision-making executive gave the approval to provide modern and energy-efficient leisure facilities in both Harrogate and Knaresborough.

The Hydro in Harrogate will receive an extension and refurbishment of the swimming pools area and changing facilities, a new 400sqm fitness suite, improved reception and café and an overhaul of the existing gym and leisure facilities.

Outside, the building will be extensively remodelled to complement the surrounding environment. Along with a reconfigured car park, landscaping, bicycle storage and electric vehicle charging points.

The diving structure - which needs to be replaced following an inspection last year - will also be carried out during this project so that it can continue to create and nurture future Olympians, such as Jack Laugher MBE and Oliver Dingley.

Simultaneously, the existing gas boilers will be replaced with heat pumps, along with the installation of solar panels as well as metering and energy monitoring and control systems. These energy efficiency measures come following a successful £2.4million bid from the borough council through the government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) public sector decarbonisation scheme.

The new facility in Knaresborough - which will replace the existing pool once complete - 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.

The leisure and wellness centre is also due to be built to the BREEAM standard of 'excellent' as a minimum. BREEAM is a recognised scheme that provides third-party certification for the assessment of the sustainability performance of individual buildings.

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

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: "I'm delighted that the proposals for both the Hydro in Harrogate and a new leisure and wellness centre in Knaresborough have been approved by the planning committee and agreed by the cabinet.

"Our vision is to create a healthier and more active population that are living longer, more independent and happier lives. And by creating first-class facilities like this we'll be able to deliver the aims and objectives of Brimhams Active."

The new facilities in both Harrogate and Knaresborough - due to start in the coming weeks - will improve participation in sport and leisure activities and encourage healthy and active lifestyles, a key vision of the borough council's local authority controlled company Brimhams Active.

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Published: 3rd March 2022