Date set to reopen Ripon Leisure Centre after multi-million pound upgrades delayed by Covid-19

The multi-million pound refurbishment of Ripon Leisure Centre has been rescheduled for completion in November 2021.

Friday, 13th November 2020, 9:36 pm
Updated Friday, 13th November 2020, 9:40 pm
The multi-million pound refurbishment of Ripon Leisure Centre has been rescheduled for completion in November 2021.

The upgrades - which include a new six-lane swimming pool - were due to be finished earlier next year but workers were forced to down tools for two months during the first Covid-19 lockdown.

Councillor Stanley Lumley, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, said work is now "progressing well" and that contractors are ready to install the new swimming pool's steel frame.

He said: "The addition of the new swimming pool and the improvements to the leisure centre will be a major development for Ripon and the surrounding area.

"They’ll provide much needed modern facilities that will encourage a healthier and more active lifestyle for our residents and something they can be proud of."

Planning permission for the upgrades was granted in June last year after concerns over a sinkhole risk were allayed.

Campaigners also raised objections that the new development did not include a learner pool, however, these calls were withdrawn over fears the project would be pulled altogether.

The project also includes a new main entrance and lobby, changing rooms and health suite, two dance studios, a spin studio and a meeting room.

The centre's car park has been relocated and a sheltered cycle rack, electric car charging points and £100,000 play area will also be added.

The council said the new swimming pool will be 70% larger than an existing pool at the 115-year-old Ripon Spa Baths which will close once the project is completed.

Anthony Dillon, regional managing director of contractors Willmott Dixon’s, added: "We are proud to be progressing well on this exciting project for the people of Ripon and surrounding area.

"We know the huge positive impact leisure centres have on the health and well-being of our local communities and we’re creating a top-quality space that really will bring people together for years to come."

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter