Case Studies

Levelling Up funding unlocks Newcastle leisure centre project for Willmott Dixon

27 February 2023

We’re pleased to announce that Willmott Dixon‘s team in the North East has been appointed to develop a £26m state-of-the-art leisure facility for Newcastle City Council in West Denton.

Following procurement through our Major Works Framework, the contractor has been appointed to build Outer West Leisure Centre after it received almost £20m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

It will replace the former West Denton Pool and existing All Saints Sports Centre, which have served the local community for over half a century, with a facility that includes a 25-metre eight lane swimming pool, a learner pool, splash pad, new library, fitness studios, a café and a modern gym.


Positive social value outcomes

Outer West Leisure Centre is expected to attract over 500,000 visits per year and generate 27 new full-time jobs while providing training opportunities for local people.

The project will deliver a social return on investment equivalent to 22% of the project value for local people in Newcastle.

A key aim will be to develop local skills and education in addition to planned visits from local schools and the creation of 100 apprenticeship hours. Willmott Dixon will also run two Building Lives Academy programmes for young people, aged 16-25, no longer in the education system and currently not working or being trained for work.


Karen Carter, Head of Delivery at Pagabo, said: “We’re delighted to have supported Newcastle City Council with the appointment of Willmott Dixon to deliver this project. The works were procured through a further competition process using Lot 2 (£15m – £30m) of our Major Works Framework. This route provided the council with both the compliance and competition they required. We ensure social value is embedded into the procurement process on every project we enable through our frameworks, and so it’s fantastic to see such a strong social return forecasted for this investment.”


Councillor Lesley Storey, the Council’s Cabinet Member for a Vibrant City, with responsibility for leisure, said: “Outer West will offer residents excellent health, community and leisure facilities and become a showcase building for the city with its eight-lane pool, sports hall, and library among other things.

“We have actively encouraged local people to have their say on what they would like to see in the leisure centre, and we now have a proposed building that will cater for people of all interests, ages, and backgrounds. I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation and look forward to the building opening.”


Nick Corrigan, director for Willmott Dixon in the North said: “This is our first project in partnership with Newcastle City Council and we are proud to be playing our part in delivering a project that will create a vibrant and innovative community hub that expands local leisure facilities.

“We are focused on leaving a lasting legacy beyond bricks and mortar and that’s why we will be supporting the Outer West economy by using local businesses and creating local employment opportunities wherever possible.”


We’re proud to have played our part during the procurement phase of this project and excited to see it progress.

Find out more about our Major Works Framework below:

Major Works Framework

For more information on our frameworks and how they can support you, click below.
Discover our frameworks

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