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Sat August 13 2022

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Willmott Dixon leisure centre costs spiral 45%

5 Aug A year after being awarded the contract, Willmott Dixon has finally begun groundworks on the new Staines-upon-Thames leisure centre but it is all going to cost a lot more now.

Spelthorne leisure centre has been designed by GT3 Architects with Gale & Snowden Architects
Spelthorne leisure centre has been designed by GT3 Architects with Gale & Snowden Architects

In August 2021 Willmott Dixon was appointed by Spelthorne Borough Council to build an energy-efficient leisure centre built to Passivhaus standards. The build cost then, just 12 months ago when councilllors approved the project, was £30m. Now that building work has actually started the cost is put at £43.5m – a 45% hike

A spokesperson from Spelthorne Borough Council, said: “There have been slight price increases because of inflationary pressure, which have agreed by all parties, and we are on now on site.”

The schedule for the project now envisages frame erection beginning in January 2023 and internal works beginning in June. Project completion is expected in May 2024.

The current centre will be demolished once the new facility has been built.

The facility has been designed by GT3 Architects, which specialises in sports and leisure centres, working alongside Passivhaus specialist Gale & Snowden. It is set to be the first ‘wet and dry’ Passivhaus leisure centre in the UK.

The centre will have a rooftop 3G pitch, a sports hall, gym, swimming pools (competitive, learner and paddling) and studio space.

Mark Gowdridge, director at GT3 Architects, said: “We are working ever closer to the Passivhaus certification for our design, which will save up to 60% in energy costs and ensure the building is futureproofed. We’re very happy with how the project is moving and having the input of Willmott Dixon will only enhance this.”

As we reported a year ago, Gleeds is project managers, with Engenuiti as structural and civil engineer, Van Zyl & de Villiers as M&E consultant and Faithful & Gould as cost manager and quantity surveyor.

A Willmott Dixon spokesperson said: “We’ve had good, productive conversations with the customer to ensure the budget was sufficient to deliver all their requirements, with issues like price inflation on materials also requiring us to work closely together on a cost plan. We have agreed a price now that means we can start work on site and build what will be a ground breaking leisure centre that is a template for the future.”

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