The project has seen the refurbishment of the existing leisure centre and the construction of a new extension, forming part of the council’s modernisation of its leisure facilities for residents and the wider community.
The project was procured through the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) Framework Agreement, managed by Scape, a local authority controlled company that delivers cost and time savings to public sector construction projects.
The work has included the renovation of the reception area and café, provision of a village changing area with steam and sauna facilities, and a major refurbishment of the main pool areas.
Construction on the project, which has now been formally handed over to Erewash Borough Council, began in January 2011 and has also seen the council invest in the improvement of the leisure centre’s accessibility, with the installation of a lift and upgraded swimming facilities.
Delivered on time and within budget, Victoria Park Leisure Centre is now fully open to the public following an unveiling ceremony attended by Baroness Sue Campbell CBE, His Worship the Mayor, councilors and senior council members on 21 November 2011.
Councillor Mike Wallace, Erewash Borough Council's Lead Member for Culture & Leisure, said: "This has been an exciting project and, indeed, a major investment that has updated, modernised and given a whole new look to Victoria Park Leisure Centre. It is another example of the council's commitment to providing first class leisure facilities and to our wider drive to encourage local groups, schools and people of all ages to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle.
"Working together with Wates Construction the £2.3m development of Victoria Park Leisure Centre was finished on budget and to specification. The improvements to the leisure centre facilities have been well received by the people of Ilkeston and the wider community of Erewash."
The use of local labour also played a significant role in the project’s delivery with the appointment of Ilkeston-based NRA Roofing Contractors, who joined Wates on site in May of this year to carry out the construction of the building’s new roof.
Andy Hands, Business Manager for Wates Construction, Midlands, commented: “The efficient delivery of Victoria Park Leisure Centre has been facilitated by the empa Framework Agreement, allowing the council to make these significant improvements to its community facilities. We have had an excellent team in place, which has worked hard to deliver this project on time and to the standard of which we are very proud, whilst also enabling the council to keep its leisure facilities operational throughout the work.”
Alan Coole, Development Director for Scape, added: “Scape makes it easier for public bodies to buy in industry services at a better price. We also encourage our framework contractors to put opportunities through the local supply chain. This project is a great example of how Scape, working in partnership with Erewash Borough Council and Wates in delivering this project, has maximised the budget and accelerated the construction programme whilst supporting the local economy.”
Parts of the leisure centre remained operational throughout the project, which also included essential maintenance works to the building’s roof, as well as the installation of new lighting, landscaping and resurfaced car park and walkways.
Wates’ presence in the area has also seen the contractor carry out voluntary work at the neighbouring Bennerley Fields Specialist Speech and Language School, as part of the company’s annual Community Day. During the work, Wates Construction staff helped to create a special Wildlife Garden for students to enjoy.