Ripon leisure centre won’t fully open with new pool
Last updated Oct 25, 2021
Photo of Ripon pool and leisure centre
Ripon's new wooden-clad swimming pool (left) and the leisure centre building (right)

Ripon Leisure Centre will only be partially open when the city’s new swimming pool comes on stream in seven weeks’ time.

Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) has confirmed that the leisure centre’s ground floor will remain closed while ‘further ground investigatory work and any remedial action required is considered.’

The multi-million pound project, due to include a six-lane pool, fully-refurbished leisure centre and outside play areas, was initially scheduled for completion in May, but ground stabilisation work known as grouting, contributed to a six-month hold up.

Last week HBC announced a revised date of 8 December for the opening of the pool.

Now, however, there is a further delay in delivery of the complete scheme, which is already more than £3 million over budget.

Photo of Ripon's new swimming pool

Opening on 8 December – Ripon’s new swimming pool

A spokesperson for HBC, said:

“The first floor of the leisure centre will remain open and will continue to be available for use when the new pool opens on the 8th December.

“The ground floor of the leisure centre will remain closed whilst further ground investigatory work and any remedial action required is considered.

“Once any further investigations and any necessary mitigations are concluded, the full suite of facilities at the Leisure Centre will be ready to be opened.”

The leisure centre gym has been moved and can now be accessed via a temporary first floor entrance, but a spin studio and other facilities that would have been on the ground floor, will not be available when the pool opens.

The original £10.2 million contract awarded to construction company and principal contractor Willmott Dixon in November 2019, stipulated a completion date of May 2021.

Following the extension of the contract, known costs for the scheme currently stand at £13,555,662.

Before granting itself permission for the new pool and leisure centre refurbishment at a June 2019 planning meeting, the committee heard concerns raised about development on land with a known history of ground instability.

A sinkhole caused the closure of the leisure centre car park in February 2018 and a new void discovered during construction work in September 2020 near the former entrance to the centre, is the subject of an investigation costing £110,000.





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