Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has signed-off plans for the new super leisure centre at the South Lakeshore, Craigavon and has applied for planning permission
With a target date for completion in the spring of 2020, the South Lakes Leisure Centre incorporates a state of the art design and will have something to offer to everyone.
After extensive discussion with Councillors and a further round of talks with a wide range of organisations and people, the design team has carefully redesigned the building, effectively time-proofing it for future generations.
With an agreed budget of over £30m, the new leisure centre is the largest project in the Council’s ambitious capital investment programme and a landmark for Craigavon. It will significantly enhance the Borough’s leisure offering and be at the forefront of indoor and outdoor leisure provision in N.I.
Situated at the site of the existing Watersports Centre, adjacent to Craigavon’s Civic & Conference Centre, there will be a varied range of indoor and outdoor facilities providing opportunities for locals, families and serious athletes alike.
The centre comprises a 50m main pool (with moveable floor level), fun pool, a separate teaching pool, the largest gym in Northern Ireland, an 8-court sports hall suitable for several indoor sports, a range of studios including a dedicated spin room and dance studio, an open hub space with café and soft play area, two squash courts and an outdoor watersports adventure centre.
“I’m delighted to say that we’ve agreed a new interior design for the leisure centre”, comments Lord Mayor Alderman Gareth Wilson, “yes it’s taken time but Council wanted to and needed to make sure that this centre would meet residents’ requirements for many years to come.”
“It’s a very ambitious build and represents many months of planning, extensive consultation, revisions and further consultation. Council has carefully considered residents’ points of view and has come up with a centre that local people will get something from it and enjoy for many years to come”.
The Centre will be designed to the highest inclusive standards, achieving Disabled Sport NI ISF ‘excellence’ status.
The Centre will also use the latest technology to make the building and the services it offers as energy efficient and as sustainable as possible.
Council is committed to high levels of spend within the local market and small to medium sized enterprises; this project will provide significant employment opportunities for local residents and businesses.
Consequently Council has commissioned Farrans Construction through the Scape Procure National Construction Framework to build the new leisure centre. A core component and ethos of the Scape procurement system involves engaging with approved local businesses, sub-contractors and suppliers.
The South Lake Leisure Centre planning application is being considered by the Planning Committee in the very near future, with the outcome of that application anticipated later this year. It is expected that work on the much-awaited project will start in January 2018.
The first stage of the project will involve the temporary relocation of the current Watersports Centre moving it to the old pier beside Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre.
Access around the Lakes for walkers and cyclists will be maintained both during and after the building of the facility. The very popular Park Run has moved to Tannaghmore Gardens as the group has expanded and parking for the runners at the South shore was limited.
Meanwhile Council is proactively working to regenerate the sites on which the three existing leisure centres are based. Each will remain open until the new leisure centre is completed.