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Wed June 23 2021

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Wates starts £21m Carlisle leisure centre scheme

15 Dec 20 Wates Construction has started work on a £21.5m revamp of a leisure centre in Carlisle.

How the Sands Centre might look with its new extension
How the Sands Centre might look with its new extension

Wates is redeveloping and expanding The Sands Centre for Carlisle City Council to provide improved sports facilities as well as a community centre.

The two-storey extension will add 40,000 sq ft to the existing building, with the redeveloped centre offering facilities including an events hall with viewing gallery, a four-court sports hall, a 25-metre swimming pool and a 20-metre learner pool with moveable floor. 

The new Sands Centre will also have a café and bar area, dance studios and a non-clinical NHS facility.

Construction on the Sands Centre started this week, with full completion expected by October 2022.

The existing Sands Centre will remain open and active throughout the new build works.

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The project team also includes Pick Everard, GT3 Architects, Buro Happold and FT Leisure.

This is Wates’ third leisure project to be booked through the Scape Construction framework, following the recently completed Braywick Leisure Centre and the Sandwell Aquatics Centre that is set to be completed in early 2022. 

Dave Saville, business unit director for Wates Construction in the northwest, said: “This is an incredibly ambitious and complex build, but one which will be of real benefit to for the community in Carlisle. We’ve been working with the council around feasibility of this project since 2018, and seeing construction start on site is testament to the hard work of our teams, design partners and the client, who have all been so committed to making this leisure project a reality.

Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr John Mallinson, said: “This is another important step forward for The Sands Redevelopment. Even through challenging times, the project and works have continued. Thanks to all the project team for moving this important community facility forward.

“The Sands Centre redevelopment is a major project that will provide significant benefits. It represents a cornerstone in our plans to support our communities to continue to improve their health and wellbeing. There is a necessity to do the work. Carlisle desperately needs new swimming facilities. This is a one-off opportunity with a dual benefit of all the facilities being on one site.”

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