The popular centre, managed by Places for People Leisure (PfPL) on behalf of Gosport Borough Council as part of a Design, Build, Operate and Maintain (DBOM) contract, first opened just five years ago, but with high demand for the facilities, further space was needed to extend its activity programme.
James Dumper, Centre Manager at Gosport Leisure Centre, commented: “When the centre opened in 2012 it was successful beyond all expectations, with latent demand exceeded by over a third. We have continued to work with Gosport Borough Council, who funded the development work, to ensure the centre continues to cater for all reaches of the community.”
To make way for the brand-new 270m2 studio, the existing ground floor studio was reduced in size enabling Createability to build an access corridor to the extension, which also houses two internal equipment stores. The whole area was fitted with a fully sprung Juncker floor, and air conditioning units were installed along with LED lighting and floor-to-ceiling mirrors on one wall, with an integrated balance bar. A new audio system was also fitted.
Dumper continued: “The new downstairs studio is larger than the previous upstairs room, and it’s also able to cater for disabled customers and those with medical conditions, where using the stairs would be difficult.”
The old downstairs studio was converted into a dedicated indoor cycling studio. The car park has also been extended by 24 standard bays and an additional disabled parking space.
The redevelopment is part of PfPL’s commitment to providing new, innovative and sophisticated leisure centres in a bid to increase participation rates. In the last year alone, PfPL has invested a significant sum in improving its facilities and equipment. Createability has worked on a number of projects with PfPL in recent years, including the redevelopment of Knightwood Leisure Centre, an extension to Middleton Pool to provide the centre with a fitness suite and a project to create modern, fit-for-purpose wet-side changing facilities at Kingfisher Leisure Centre, Kingston.
However, work at Gosport Leisure Centre wasn’t straightforward, as Createability soon discovered the centre’s electrical supply ran straight through the footprint of the proposed extension. Createability’s Project Manager for the redevelopment, Mark Walters, said: “We had to remove two of the centre’s astroturf football pitches to allow for new electrical supply cables to be installed and then relay them both, but we managed to carry out the work with no interruption to either the centre’s electric supply or daily functions. We also had to divert the gas main without affecting the heat of the pool or the hot water supply as it ran through the proposed car park extension. It was a challenge, but we managed to ensure the centre remained open at all times and customers could continue with their usual exercise routines.”
Dumper concluded: “The extension has enabled Gosport Leisure Centre to provide more activities and classes for all the community. We have been able to provide the latest state-of-the-art fitness equipment including new Stages bikes for our group cycling classes, along with the larger studio spaces for classes, community groups and rehabilitation classes.”