The Harrogate Leisure and Wellness Centre reopened the 4 September 2023, following a£13.5 million refurbishment.
Work includes providing a 400sqm fitness centre, a new sauna and steam suite and improved reception and café, along with an overhaul of the existing gym, leisure and swimming facilities.
A new addition to the centre is a Les Mills group cycling studio, known as The Trip, which combines a 40-minute multi-peak cycling workout with a journey through digitally created worlds.
As part of the £13.5 million scheme, the diving structure has also been replaced so that the facility can continue to create and nurture future Olympians like Jack Laugher and Oliver Dingley, who began their diving careers at what was previously known as The Hydro in Harrogate.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for culture, arts and housing, Cllr Simon Myers, said:
We are committed to ensuring that North Yorkshire has a healthy and more active population that is living longer and more independently.
The re-opening of the new and improved Harrogate Leisure and Wellness Centre will ensure that continues to be the case.
I am delighted that the centre is now available to be enjoyed by the local community for many years to come. It is also pleasing that energy-efficiency has been at the heart of the project, in line with our climate pledges, and this will serve as an example for other facilities across the county.
The existing gas boilers have been replaced with air-source heat pumps and 250 solar panels, as well as new metering and energy monitoring and control systems.
These were made possible by a £1.8 million grant from the Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) public sector decarbonisation scheme and will halve the carbon footprint of the leisure centre.
The centre will be run and operated by the council-owned health and wellbeing company, Brimhams Active.
Mark Tweedie, managing director of Brimhams Active, said:
North Yorkshire Council’s unprecedented investment means Brimhams Active can attract many more residents and help them to achieve their health and wellbeing goals.
We know if physical activity was a drug, it would be a miracle cure because it’s the most effective way for people to live a healthier life into older age.
At Brimhams Active we are focussed on providing an exceptional universal offer for all people, while also providing a range of targeted services to support people with their first step towards an active healthy lifestyle, particularly people who need support to resolve or manage their ongoing health conditions.
As with any large-scale renovation of an older building, a number of urgent improvements that needed to be made were discovered during the work.
The fire protection of the existing steel frame required an upgrade, as well as the addition of new wall restraints, the replacement of corroded steelwork and fixing an issue that was causing an air leak and heat loss between the roof and the external walls.
Outside, the building has been remodelled to provide a reconfigured car park and bicycle storage.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for health and adult services, Cllr Michael Harrison, said:
I am sure that residents will be very excited to get into the new leisure centre and start using the facilities.
The health benefits of keeping fit are clear for everyone – it can improve brain health, manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bone and muscles and improve our ability to do everyday activities.
The centre is also an important part of this community and one that a lot of people use every day.