Categories: Case Studies
Ashfield's residents will have improved community and leisure facilities in one of the area's biggest regeneration projects. Ashfield District Council has created a new leisure centre in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, a long-promised and much-needed multipurpose community hub for local people. The centre which opened in August 2022 replaces an existing one and is part of the council's wider investment in leisure provision across the area and will provide enhance social and economic benefits.
Faithful+Gould was appointed via our Professional Services Framework, which gave the council a compliant, swift and efficient appointment process. The use of our framework enabled the client to access Faithful+Gould's specialist leisure centre supply chain, which ensured that Ashfield District Council achieves best value and Sport England compliance for their facility.
The focus is on creating an inspiring centre that meets local needs but is affordable for Ashfield District Council in these times of constrained local authority funding. The council wants to provide better social, health and leisure facilities for residents, encouraging participation. At the same time, the investment must be balanced with the facility’s revenue potential, so achieving best value is critical.
Ashfield District Council’s project reflects the recognition in local authorities that leisure facilities are a powerful catalyst for change, bringing communities together and improving residents’ wellbeing. Centres can be multi-purpose, maximising the social and economic returns on investment. It’s not enough to simply serve sports and fitness enthusiasts. Engaging residents who have not previously participated is a priority, with exploration of barriers to participation. Kirkby Leisure Centre will host community cinema and theatre and be used for polling, as well as sports, fitness and a wellbeing area. The building’s zones are designed for flexibility, allowing the usage and layout to evolve with new activities or changed priorities in the future.
The centre’s features include a 25m pool with flexible floor and separate leisure water area; four badminton court sports hall (with cinema capability); 85-station health and fitness gym with free weights area; two multi-activity studios; cycling studio; wellbeing studio and sensory room; indoor climbing wall and soft play; sauna and steam room, and café.
Many organisations and groups have been involved with the project. Stakeholder communication and coordination has been an important part of Faithful+Gould's role. They liaised with the operator Everyone Active, the council’s estates department, Sport England and a variety of user groups. For the user groups, it’s important that they feel confident in the new facilities. In this instance, the indoor bowls club and the bodybuilder clients had very exacting requirements and we have endeavoured to fulfil their needs.
Kirkby Leisure Centre will be a vibrant and high-quality community hub, and we’re proud to be making it happen.
Jonathon Oram, Head of services at Pagabo, said: “We are proud that we were given the opportunity to be involved in a project that can have such a massive impact for the Kirkby-in-Ashfield area. This leisure centre provides a variety of opportunities for locals of all ages and with our Professional Services Framework being chosen to aid this is a great achievement for our team.”
Dean Williams, Regional Director at Faithful+Gould, said: “It’s great to support Ashfield District Council with this project that supports local regeneration. We’re creating an accessible, safe and affordable leisure centre in an area which has lacked good facilities. This is going to make a real difference to people’s lives.”
Darowen Jones, Principal Consultant – Project Management, said: "Faithful+Gould have led the design team throughout the project development and delivery. Progress has continued at a good pace, and we are really pleased with what we’ve managed to achieve within the budget."
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