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Heron Bros bag multi-million pound contract to build Belfast leisure centres

By Deven Pamben    17 Jan 2017
Brook Activity Centre will be replaced with a £15m sports centre.

Construction company Heron Bros has been appointed as the contractor to design and build three new leisure facilities in Belfast, which is part of a £105m transformation programme in the Northern Ireland city.

The contract for the three centres, which will replace Andersonstown Leisure Centre, the Robinson Centre and Brook Activity Centre, was awarded following a competitive tender process.

The deal, worth £60m, is the largest single capital contract ever handed out by Belfast City Council.

Work has already started at the Robinson Centre, with building scheduled to start in summer at Andersonstown and Brook.

Each of the centres will have their own selling point, with the new Andersonstown Leisure Centre focusing on family-fun leisure water activities, the Robinson Centre becoming the aquatic hub for Belfast, and the new Brook Leisure Centre targeting outdoor sports provision. Each centre will also have associated facilities such as fitness suites and exercise studios.

The council will be investing £25m to replace the existing Andersonstown Leisure Centre. The facility will include a 25-metre six-lane pool with 50 spectator seats, learner pool, 140-station fitness suite, exercise studios, spin studio, café, multipurpose room and outdoor five-a-side pitches.

A £20m facility will replace the Robinson Centre, which will consist of a 25-metre eight-lane gala pool with 250 spectator seats, learner pool with movable floor and diving provision, 140-station fitness suite, exercise studios, spin studio, sports hall, café, community facility, multi-purpose room, as well as a range of outdoor provision such as a five-a-side pitch and skate park.

The Brook Activity Centre will be replaced with a £15m sports centre, which will include a 25-metre four-lane pool with 25 spectator seats, sports hall, 60-station fitness suite, exercise studio, spin studio, one 3G pitch suitable for Gaelic football and soccer, six indoor and outdoor 3G five-a-side soccer pitches, one hurling wall, playground and outdoor gym.

All three new centres are due to be completed by summer 2019.

Speaking about the deal, councillor John Hussey, chair of the council’s strategic policy and resources committee, said: “The delivery of this phase of the council’s leisure transformation programme will result in three new, state-of-the-art, leisure facilities for the city. This contract represents a major investment by the council and underpins our commitment to ensuring that everyone across the city has access to modern, fit for purpose leisure facilities.”

The three redevelopments represent the next phase of the council’s £105m transformation programme.

This month, a new leisure facility at Olympia is due to open. The centre is the first part of a £21.75m Olympia Sports Village development, with the next phase including the demolition of the old facility, a new boulevard entrance, new playground and outdoor sports pitches.

Cash is also being spent on the redevelopment of Belfast's Templemore Baths, Avoniel Leisure Centre and additional leisure-related facilities at Girdwood Community Hub.

Belfast  leisure centre  sports centre  construction  design 
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