Work to provide modern and energy-efficient leisure facilities in Harrogate and Knaresborough starts this month

This month, work will start to provide modern and energy-efficient leisure facilities in both Harrogate and Knaresborough following an investment from Harrogate Borough Council.

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

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

The existing gas boilers will be replaced with air source heat pumps and the installation of 250 solar panels, as well as 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 will also be replaced so that it can continue to create and nurture future Olympians, such as Jack Laugher MBE and Oliver Dingley.

The project will be carried out in phases with the refurbished pool hall and changing village re-opening in January 2023 and the 'dry side' activity space by April 2023.

The Hydro will close this Friday (8 April) and anyone wishing to continue to swim can do so at Starbeck Baths, Knaresborough Swimming Pool, Nidderdale Swimming Pool in Pateley Bridge and at the new pool at the Jack Laugher Leisure and Wellness Centre in Ripon. Opening times are available on the Brimhams Active website.

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.

It is also due to be built to the BREEAM standard of 'excellent'. 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 will contribute to the council's vision to have a net zero-carbon economy by 2038.

Work will start on 26 April and is due to be completed by July 2023. During this time the existing pool will remain open. Once complete, the existing pool will close and be demolished, to be replaced by the new play area. This is due to take a further 15-weeks.

Throughout the project, customers will need to use the car park on York Place (HG5 0AD) which is a short walk from the pool.  Parking costs will be reimbursed to customers (up to two hours).

Wallace Sampson OBE, Harrogate Borough Council's chief executive, said: "This investment at both the Hydro in Harrogate and a new facility in Knaresborough follows our investment at the Jack Laugher Leisure and Wellness Centre in Ripon and shows our commitment to providing first-class leisure facilities for Harrogate district residents.

"They will also include some of the latest energy efficiency measures, such as air source heat pumps and solar panels, to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to our vision of a net zero-carbon economy. Along with some of the latest fitness equipment to help residents achieve their fitness goals”.

"Once open - like all of our other leisure facilities – they will be managed day-to-day by our local authority controlled company Brimhams Active who has set a clear objective of creating 'a healthier more active population living longer more independent and happier lives'. And with this further investment in leisure provision, they'll be able to achieve that."

Mark Tweedie, managing director of Brimhams Active, said: "I'd like to thank Harrogate Borough Council for their bold and brave vision to provide unprecedented levels of investment into leisure and wellbeing across the Harrogate district.

"The vision and strategy of Brimhams Active, along with this investment in facilities, will help residents of all ages, from all walks of life, live a healthy lifestyle and stay active for longer."

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Media contact

For further information call the media office on 01423 556825 or email news@harrogate.gov.uk.

Published: 6th April 2022