Sep 20, 2017 Last Updated 11:00 PM, Sep 10, 2017

Ceramique Internationale explains the complexities behind Huddersfield Leisure Centre’s swimming pool

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Huddersfield is undergoing major regeneration, with new developments including the £27m university building and the upcoming £15m facelift of Kingsgate Shopping Centre all helping to modernise the Yorkshire town and boost the local economy. So, when Kirklees Council proposed a new 12,500m² leisure centre, it was another shot in the arm for the area.

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Replacing a worn predecessor, which dated back more than 40 years, the new leisure centre has brought state-of-the-art facilities to the town, helping to attract locals to the centre while increasing job and apprenticeship opportunities. The amenities include three swimming pools – comprising a 25m competition pool, training pool and splash park – squash courts, a 15m climbing wall, a 12-court sports hall, a large gym and a combat room.

Once plans were approved, it was up to BAM Construction, BAL Adhesives, The Tiling Company Northern and tile specialist, Ceramique Internationale, to help bring them to life.

Working towards a design brief, Ceramique Internationale liaised with some of Europe’s finest tile manufacturers – many of which have worked with the company throughout its 43-year history – including Italian-based, Casalgrande Padana. As well as supplying its unglazed Basaltina and Sardegna ranges for use within the entrance hall and corridors of the new leisure centre, the Italian tile manufacturer’s Technic floor tile range was used throughout the changing rooms. These were complemented by Interni wall tiles in various formats and colours from Italian manufacturer, Vogue.

However, the most complex job came when tiling the competition pool. Whilst every task is carried out to exacting standards, the margins for error when creating a competition-standard swimming pool are almost non-existent. Rules state competition pools can’t be 1mm less or 10mm over the 25m limit and, while this could be adjusted after tiling, the rework would cost time and money.

Working closely with BAM Construction, BAL Adhesives and The Tiling Company Northern, Ceramique provided a range of Combicolor and Special Form extruded tiles by German manufacturer, Gail, to be used throughout the pool tank. Selected in blue and white to replicate a true competition setting, the tiles helped the team counterbalance the pool’s strict size specifications. Ceramique also created bespoke Special Form tiles to enable a more aesthetically-pleasing appearance for the pool edge and raised diving areas.

In total, Ceramique Internationale provided more than 200 tonnes of ceramic tiles to be used within the leisure centre, covering more than 10,000m² of space.

Cameron Fraser, Director of Ceramique Internationale, said: “We have extensive experience in large-scale projects but, as a Yorkshire business with deep-rooted connections to the area, we’re proud to have had the opportunity to work on Huddersfield Leisure Centre. It is already proving to be extremely popular and well used, and we’re excited to see the benefits it brings to the local area.”

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