A UK first – swimming pool built inside a sports hall
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A UK first – swimming pool built inside a sports hall

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There is nothing new in facility operators reconfiguring underused sports courts as gyms and exercise studios in order to cater to changing demands.

Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) in South Wales, however, has taken the re-assigning of facilities to a new level – by building a swimming pool inside a sports hall.

In an impressive feat of construction engineering, the 25m pool and spa were constructed within the existing structure at Monmouth Leisure Centre.

This is the first time a project of this kind has been successfully executed in the UK and forms part of a £7.4m refurbishment and extension of the centre.

Delivered by Alliance Leisure Services as part of its UK Leisure Framework, the multi-phased project also includes a new 60-station gym, exercise and group cycling studios, a toning suite, children’s play area and café.

Built to ASA standards, the five-lane pool is accompanied by the spa comprising a sauna, steamroom and spa bath.

Monmouth has been without a public swimming pool for some years and – according to Bob Greenland, MCC cabinet member with responsibility for leisure – building the pool inside an existing facility was "the most cost-effective way" to create a crucial community asset.

“This project has been three years in the making," Greenland said.

"At a time when other councils were closing leisure centres, we committed to this new modern facility and we now see the fulfilment of our promise to the people of Monmouth and the surrounding areas.

"Members of the leisure centre’s staff have demonstrated faith in a time of uncertainty, but they can now look forward to a bright future."

Julia Goddard, senior business development manager at Alliance Leisure, added: “Squeezing the swimming pool into the sports hall was the only way we could provide the wide range of facilities required by MCC to meet local need.

"This created a host of challenges equating to the construction industry’s equivalent of squeezing a ship into a bottle, but the results are amazing.

"Procuring the project through the UK Leisure Framework resulted in major efficiencies to the build process and allowed us to work with our trusted partners ISG to develop an innovative solution for this incredibly complicated project."

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There is nothing new in facility operators reconfiguring underused sports courts as gyms and exercise studios in order to cater to changing demands.
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Manchester Metropolitan University
Manchester Metropolitan University