Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Health and Recreation Department

South Lake Leisure Centre

Coming 2020

With an agreed budget of over £30m, the South Lake 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.

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.

The centre comprises of;

  • 50m main pool (with moveable floor level)
  • Fun pool
  • Teaching pool
  • Largest gym in Northern Ireland
  • 8-court sports hall suitable for several indoor sports
  • Range of studios including a dedicated spin room and dance studio
  • Open hub space
  • Café
  • Soft play area
  • 2 squash courts
  • Outdoor watersports adventure centre

The Story So Far...

£35 million development replacing older centres of Waves in Lurgan (1965), Cascades Portadown (1969) & Craigavon Leisure Centre (1974) Brownlow.

In 2009 the then CBC assessed various options taking the decision in 2010 to replace the 3 aging centres.

Various work done over the intervening years including equality impact assessment (2012) and appointing McAdam Design 2014.

Stop & think 2015 when CBC became ACBCBC

Further extensive public consultation 2016, Council listened leading to internal redesign of poolside. Farrans Construction appointed

Local Government Reform merged Craigavon, Armagh and Banbridge together and the plans were reviewed again by the new council in December 2015.

Planning Submitted 2017

Increased 50m pool including fun leisure pool with inflatable play equipment, a separate teaching pool with adjustable floor level, the largest gym in Northern Ireland, an 8-court sports hall suitable for a number of indoor sports, a range of studios including a dedicated spin room and dance studio, an open hub space with café and soft play area, an outdoor watersports adventure centre.

Council wants to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to visit & access the new South Lakes Leisure Centre. Council has engaged Disability Sport NI (DSNI) to help ensure that this new building is fully accessible for all our customers;

The objectives are –

  • Council & DNSI aims to develop sport & physical recreation for people with physical, sensory & learning disabilities.
  • To ensure compliance & enhancement to the Disability Discrimination (NI) Order 2006.
  • By working together, promote the sporting requirements of people with disabilities, including team sports, wheelchair sports & access to fitness equipment.
  • DSNI has assisted Council to meet our duties under the DDA; this has included working alongside the architect of the building.
  • Council wants to achieve the ‘Inclusive Sports Facilities Accreditation’ (excellence award) for the new South Lakes Leisure Centre.

The Inclusive Sports Facility (ISF) Accreditation Scheme

The ISF Accreditation Scheme has been developed by Disability Sport NI to encourage and recognise excellence in the design of sports facilities.

The Accreditation Scheme is awarded to sports facilities, which successfully meet the recommendations, outlined in Disability Sport NI’s Accessible Sports Facilities Design Guidelines (2016 Edition).

Council want to achieve the Inclusive Sport Facility Excellence Accreditation – this level of accreditation recognises optimum levels of good practice in new sports facilities.

A number of issues within the building that have been considered & modified include:

Site Wide Accessibility

  • All external routes & pathways are the correct width to provide easy access.
  • Visual contrast will be adhered to & all street furniture is correctly installed with clear routes.
  • The number of accessible parking spaces is 28 & all are within 50m of the building
  • Rest stations will be installed in and around the facility.
  • A drop off point has been made available at the South entrance doors.


  • At the entrance to the building all signage will be clearly marked.
  • Automatic doors will be provided throughout the building.
  • Our entrance lobby will be designed to meet the needs of sports wheelchairs.
  • Our reception desks will be accessible for all & be visible from entrances.
  • We will ensure that there is a lower counter, knee space, signage & hearing loops.


Our corridors & door widths will be suitable for wheelchair users with passing points included in the building.

The circulation doors have automatic opening & electromagnetic hold open devices.

Sanitary Provision

WC Layouts:

  • There will be clear access in w.c. layouts
  • We will provide larger ambulant cubicals in w.c.’s, lower ambulant urinals, contrasting grab rails.
  • We will provide a lower wash hand basin with level taps for users with limited manual dexterity.
  • All accessible w.c.’s to have shelving set at appropriate heights.
  • We are providing 2 changing places facilities within the building

Vertical Circulation

Our lifts will accomodate more than 1 wheelchair user.

Tactile profile warning surfaces will be installed on the stair flights.


  • We are providing a number of inclusive changing & shower facilities.
  • Wider doors will be provided throughout these facilities.
  • Our design layouts to provide maximum inclusive flexibility.
  • C.’s will be in close proximity to accessible shower/ changing.
  • Fit out of accessible showers with seats, grab rails, controls, benching including space for transfer.


  • All benching installed will be height adjustable & deeper in width.
  • There will be provision for accessible lockers at a ranges of heights, knee space to some; assortment of full, half & quarter sizes. Consider large tactile numbers, including braille.
  • Provision of accessible grooming areas with mirror & dryers.

Pool Access

  • There will be shallow steps, pool pod will be provided at the 50m pool & hoists available for transfer.

Commercial Activities

  • Tables will be provided in the catering area which enable wheelchair users.
  • All accessible fitness equipment will have gloves & hand/foot straps.
  • The gym will have an accessible layout around the equipment.
  • Lighting in the building will be designed & installed to ensure accessibility & visual contrast.

Sports Hall

  • The acoustics in the hall will be considered to reduce confusion & discomfort, as echo & reverberation can be particularly problematic.

Accessible Spectator Viewing

Accessible vantage points will be made available next to a companion in the following areas:

  • Pool area;
  • Squash courts;
  • Sports hall.

Bleacher seating will be modified to include:

  • Ramp access;
  • Elevated wheelchair viewing;
  • Fold-up arm rests;
  • Additional signage.


The signage will enable people with disabilities to successfully navigate around this new leisure facility unassisted.


  • Signs provided only where necessary;
  • A sign location will be developed for the building; however, they will be places in prominent key locations;
  • Our messages will be short & easy to understand; we will use plain English and universal symbols/pictograms;
  • All signs will comply with visual impairment guidelines.


  • An induction loop system will be provided to reduce background noise. This will be available at reception, sales counters, key meeting rooms and viewing gallery areas with PA system.

Alarm Systems

  • This issue has been discussed with Disability Sport Northern Ireland to ensure all aspects of alarms within building are fully compliant.
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