May 20, 2019 Last Updated 8:31 AM, Apr 10, 2019

Leisure services of the future

Published in Upfront
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Cutting-edge leisure facilities are being delivered across the country, thanks to leading independent design, construction and infrastructure consultancy Pick Everard.


With 10 offices across the UK, Pick Everard is pioneering in design, innovation and sustainability with its growing portfolio of projects in the sports and leisure sector.

Royal Air Force personnel will be served by a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool, thanks to the delivery of the new £5m facility.

Pick Everard provided architecture, structural, civil and building services on the project based at RAF Honington in Suffolk.

Training, rehabilitation and recreation

The new two storey indoor training, rehabilitation and recreational hydrotherapy pool – for client Babcock Dyncorp & Graham Construction – will play a major role in supporting 11,000 servicemen acting as a Regional Rehabilitation Unit (RRU).

Paul Darlow, Director at Pick Everard, said: “This fantastic new facility will serve thousands of army servicemen across the country, helping with the recovery of injured personnel.

“The regional rehabilitation unit replaces the existing facility and has been designed to meet the needs of its 21st Century users.”

The new 25m pool has six lanes and also embraces sustainable technologies and materials to meet DREAM assessed criteria.

It is MOD and Defence Estates policy that DREAM is used wherever possible in preference to any other assessment method.

As a result Pick Everard ensured the design complied with the military standard by utilising exposed structural glulam beams with insulated timber cassettes.

DREAM assessed

DREAM was developed by the Defence Estates Strategy & Policy Directorate to address the particular environmental performance aspects of MOD construction projects, and is accepted as being equivalent to BREEAM.

The regional rehabilitation unit is unique in that it is one of a few centres across the country serving four RAF regiment squadrons in East Anglia. It is a specialist centre in that it also has musculoskeletal rehabilitation facilities.

It has its own assessment and treatment areas, changing rooms and links through to the already existing gym.

The project has thrown challenges at Pick Everard’s specialist team with the need to maintain the former facility while the new indoor training, rehabilitation and recreational hydrotherapy pool was being built.

Paul added: “The project has certainly posed us with some challenges. Part of the criteria was that we needed to maintain the use of the existing facility while building the new site as it is so heavily utilised and relied on by servicemen from across the country.

“Pick Everard recognises the importance of creating a recovery environment which serves military personnel and the community with the most state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.

“We ensured that it was delivered on time and to budget – keeping the building operational throughout the design and build process was key and a challenge we had to overcome.

“Once the unit was complete, we then needed to demolish the old facility which again had to be done sensitively in order to not interfere with the new site.”

The building covers 1,450 square metres on a site of 4,550 square metres and includes 10 new parking spaces, five of which are disabled. The development also includes landscaping with tree planting.

It has been designed so that it will have a limited visual impact on the character of the open countryside when viewed from outside the base. The unit employs 10 staff including physiotherapists, a specialist sports injury and exercise doctor and RAF and civilian exercise and rehabilitation instructors.

Multi-million pound leisure centre

Pick Everard is also delivering a multi-million pound leisure centre development in Tewkesbury which will provide high quality leisure services to current and future generations.

The leisure centre is currently under construction for client Tewkesbury Borough Council after Tewkesbury Borough Council procured the services of Pick Everard and Willmott Dixon through the Scape framework.

Pick Everard is project managing the procurement processes and also providing cost and design advice for the new £7.5m centre in Gloucestershire.

The facility will replace the ageing Cascades Centre in the town centre and has been designed with input from experts at Pick Everard and Willmott Dixon so that the council can maximise efficiencies throughout the project.

Stuart Brisbane, Project Lead from Pick Everard, said: “Tewkesbury is maximising its efficiencies by using the Scape framework and working with providers like ourselves and Willmott Dixon.

“Ensuring clients receive the very highest standard of work and excellent value for money is intrinsic to the delivery of our projects.

“By acting now the council is providing a centre that is both affordable and sustainable. The current leisure centre is at the end of its lifespan at 40 years with high running costs – but with the new centre, services like free swimming for under 8’s will now be provided, whilst studio space and a gymnasium will also be available.”

Leading the way in cost management

Pick Everard has been involved in the project since December 2013 and the building has now started construction on site. The leisure centre will have a main 25m pool with a 20m learner/training pool including fun features like sprays, water cannons and a paddling pool.

It will have a 60 station gym, sauna and steam rooms, and a flexible activities studio for a whole range of activities including dance, fitness classes and children’s parties. The new centre will also have a coffee shop with viewing area.

Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Lead Member for health and wellbeing, Cllr Claire Wright, said: “We are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of our residents and I hope this new leisure centre will encourage people of all fitness levels and abilities to visit and get involved.”

The existing leisure centre will remain operational while the new centre is being built.

Alastair Hamilton, Partner at Pick Everard, said: “We are proud to be working with Tewkesbury Borough Council to deliver this fantastic new facility.

“This project will provide a leading, state-of-the-art leisure centre fit for current and future generations.

“With our project and cost management, it has meant that the contract with the leisure operator and contract with the builder could be entered on the same day with zero risk of unaffordability.”

Pick Everard is delivering the project through the Scape framework. The consultancy is the sole provider of project management and cost management services for the Scape national framework. Contractor, Willmott Dixon, has also been appointed under the Scape National Major Projects Framework where it too is the sole partner for projects with values from £2m upwards.

Use of the Scape Frameworks means that clients are able to start their projects immediately and in the case of Tewkesbury Borough Council this meant that the contract for the leisure operator and Willmott Dixon could be entered into on the same day with zero risk of unaffordability. Stringent KPIs will be met by Willmott Dixon through the programme including working with a local supply chain, local employment and community engagement.

The new Tewkesbury Leisure Centre will be completed by summer 2016.

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