£28m contracts for new Knaresborough pool and Harrogate Hydro upgrades approved
Last updated Mar 5, 2022
A CGI image of the future Knaresborough Leisure Centre.

Two construction contracts worth a total of £28m are to be handed to a Bristol-based firm to build a new leisure centre in Knaresborough and refurbish Harrogate Hydro.

Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet agreed this week to the deals with Alliance Leisure ahead of the works starting next month.

Jonathan Dunk, executive officer for major projects at the council, said the company had been chosen because it has “the right experience and expertise to ensure we deliver good value for money”.

The decision comes after Alliance Leisure was previously awarded a £2m contract to draw up plans for both schemes in 2020.

A planning application for the £17m Knaresborough Leisure Centre was approved on Monday. The plans include building the new facility over at play at Fysche Field before the existing Knaresborough Pool is demolished.

The new leisure centre could be built by July 2023 and will have a six-lane pool, health spa, fitness studios and replacement play area.

The £11.8m Harrogate Hydro plans were approved in October 2021 and include a two-storey extension of the building, as well as a new entrance, cafe and reception area.

There will also be a new diving board structure, fitness suite and refurbished changing areas.

These works could be completed by April 2023.

Councillor Stanley Lumley, cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, told the cabinet meeting that the council was committed to both projects despite rising costs.

He said:

“Keeping people fit and active as long as possible has to benefit everyone with both physical and mental health.

“These new facilities will be far more efficient and this investment keeps us competitive.

“We live in a new world post-Covid and increasing costs, materials and labour shouldn’t stop us in our ambitions.”

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Cllr Lumley also said he was pleased to see the completion of Ripon’s new multi-million-pound swimming pool which officially opens today after months of costly delays.

The project is nine months overdue and £4m over budget, and refurbishment works on the adjoining Ripon Leisure Centre are still underway after the discovery of an underground void prompted the need for an investigation.

The new facility has been named the Jack Laugher Leisure and Wellness Centre in honour of the city’s triple Olympic medal winner who was born in Harrogate and went to Ripon Grammar School.

Cllr Lumley said:

“Yesterday I spent a very proud morning in Ripon at the new leisure and wellness centre with local lad and Olympic hero Jack Laugher.

“I was privileged to show Jack around the new multi-million pound facility and he was delighted with what he saw.

“He was also extremely pleased that his name appeared above the door.”