New opening dates for Harrogate and Knaresborough leisure centres revealed
Last updated May 15, 2023
Harrogate Hydro and Knaresborough Leisure and Wellness Centre

Two major local leisure centre projects in Harrogate and Knaresborough have been delayed — and will cost more than expected.

The new North Yorkshire Council gave its first update on the refurbishment of Harrogate Hydro and the construction of Knaresborough Leisure and Wellness Centre today.

It revealed the Hydro is now due to re-open in August following a £13.5 million refurbishment.

The facility, which will be renamed Harrogate Leisure and Wellness Centre, was originally due to re-open in January this year and the project was due to cost £11.8 million.

But it now won’t be open for the start of the summer holidays.

A council statement today said:

“It had been hoped the new facility would be ready to open earlier in the summer but a number of unanticipated issues with the building were found during the construction process.”

The new Knaresborough Leisure and Wellness Centre is due to open in November at a cost of £17.6 million.

The project was initially due to re-open at the end of summer and cost £17 million.

The existing Knaresborough Pool was due to be demolished once the new facility was open.

But to keep construction costs as low as possible, the current pool will close and start to be demolished in early September following the opening of the Harrogate Leisure and Wellness Centre.

It means Knaresborough is likely to be without a pool for two months.

Hydro overhaul

Harrogate Leisure and Wellness Centre Hydro

Harrogate Leisure and Wellness Centre will include a 400 square metre fitness centre, a new sauna and steam suite, improved reception and café, as well an overhaul of the existing gym, spin, leisure and swimming facilities.

The diving structure is also being replaced.

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

The existing gas boilers have already been replaced with air-source heat pumps and 250 solar panels, as well as new metering and energy monitoring and control systems.

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The energy efficiency measures were made possible by a £1.8 million grant from the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy public sector decarbonisation scheme, and will halve the carbon footprint of the leisure centre.

The latest delay to the re-opening is to allow improvements to the fire protection of the steel frame, as well as the addition of new wall restraints, the replacement of corroded steelwork and fixing an issue that was causing an air leak and heat loss between the roof and the external walls.]

Today’s statement added:

“As a result of this additional work, the refurbishment project at Harrogate Leisure and Wellness Centre is now set to be completed by the end of July and will reopen in August, once staff from Brimhams Active have had a chance to familiarise themselves with the health and safety and operating procedures of the improved facility.

“Further details about the official opening will be announced in the coming months.”

Six-lane pool in Knaresborough

Knaresborough Pool

Knaresborough Leisure and Wellness Centre, which is being built next to the current Knaresborough Pool, will include 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 incorporate high-efficiency building materials, air source heat pumps and solar panels to reduce the carbon footprint.

Today’s update said:

“Unfortunately, due to an unavoidable delay involving the new electrical supply to the building, the leisure and wellness centre will now open in November.

Once the existing pool has been demolished, a new play area in front of the new Knaresborough Leisure and Wellness Centre will be installed.

Cllr Simon Myers, the council’s executive member for culture, arts and housing, said:

“We want to ensure a healthier, more active population that is living longer and more independently. By investing in leisure facilities, such as this, we can continue to make that happen.

“Unfortunately, refurbishment projects often uncover historic issues that need to be resolved. But by carrying out the work now, the building can conform to the latest legislation, be as energy-efficient as possible and allow people to keep fit and active for many years to come.”


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