A PIONEERING Warwickshire facility, which challenges the traditional notion of a leisure centre, has received planning permission thanks to sport and leisure specialists GT3 Architects.
Located in Miners’ Welfare Park, the Bedworth Physical Activities Hub – delivered on behalf of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council – has been designed to be welcoming and inviting for all user groups. The new hub will replace an existing centre, providing a new set of facilities that better meets the needs of the local community, utilising GT3’s ‘people first’ approach.
The facility includes a 25m eight lane pool, learner pool with a moveable floor, 120 station fitness suite, two studios, a spin studio and associated changing areas as well as a café and multipurpose room. In addition, the surrounding park will undergo a major transformation with a focus on creating an active landscape that wraps around the new building.
Matt McCreith, project architect at GT3, said: “We’re delighted to reach this important milestone of the project. The new hub is going to be a major asset for the borough and the landscape design for the park is truly transformational. The scheme aims to create an ‘active landscape’ that offers a variety of different activities and areas in a bid to promote movement and enjoyment of outdoor space. This includes exercise & play areas, walking routes and seating spaces.
“We are approaching this project more like a community building as opposed to being a leisure centre that is only sports focused. It’s been designed to be accessible from the park as well as the main entrance, encouraging more people to use the building for a variety of reasons. The aim is to get more people active, but this can be achieved away from the traditional sports activities hosted in the building.
“Playing a part in a project like this, that aims to make such a positive impact in the community, is very exciting and we can’t wait to move on to the next stage and start construction.”
The project has come to fruition through a great deal of collaboration across the project team to ensure the final design was truly pioneering.
There is a strong focus on cycling throughout the scheme, with British Cycling recently funding a series of new mountain bike trails in the park and a Cycle Hub within the building that will offer bicycle hire services for users. There will also be a new all-wheels skatepark, learn-to-ride area and pump track provided as part of the approved proposal.
Councillor Sue Markham, portfolio holder for public services at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said: “Due to start on site this autumn, this has been an exciting venture where collaboration has been key. The project team, which includes Sport England and leading contractor BAM Construct UK as well as civil engineering firm, Hexa Consulting. The culmination of experience and expertise involved with the Hub will offer something completely new and bespoke for the community here and I am excited to see work get underway.”
Dave Strong, director at Hexa Consulting, said: “This project is set to deliver a truly outstanding facility and we’re pleased to have played our part in getting it to this stage. It’s been fantastic to work alongside GT3 to provide a full suite of assessment and design services, which aligns this project with the wider regeneration of Bedworth. We look forward to seeing the leisure centre brought to fruition through a continued collaborative team effort.”
The team’s project approach combines a unique blend of uses to create a leisure destination which will play a role in the regeneration of Bedworth and act as a catalyst for further future developments.