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Councillors welcome progress on Exeter’s new leisure complex

Published: 21 March 2019

Exeter’s new leisure complex Kier apprentices Becky Rogers and Tom Taylor on site in Paris Street

Councillors have welcomed progress on the construction of the UK’s first Passivhaus leisure centre in Exeter.

During a visit to the bus station redevelopment site they were shown the progress of works now underway to create a state-of-the-art new leisure complex called St Sidwell’s Point.

Councillors were briefed by project managers from construction firm Kier, the main contractor for the development. Hundreds of mainly South West-based subcontractors will also be employed on the project, which will take two years to complete.

Councillor Phil Bialyk, Lead Councillor with Responsibility for the Bus Station Redevelopment, said: “It is fantastic to see the progress on site and to know that in two years people will be enjoying all the benefits of one of the best leisure centres in the country.

“When you meet the construction team, their passion to deliver an absolutely top quality development is obvious. They share our enthusiasm for what we are planning to achieve on this site, and I couldn’t be more pleased with progress so far, and the plans for completing the build over the next two years.

“Exeter has waited a long time for this, and I have absolutely no doubt at all that it will be well worth the wait. We are creating something very special here, something the city can be rightly very proud of.”

Councillors were told that Passivhaus is all about creating the highest quality construction, resulting in a building with a hugely reduced energy consumption.

Building St Sidwell’s Point in this way will help it to become one of the world’s most energy efficient leisure centres, councillors were told.

They heard that the water quality at St Sidwell’s Point is expected to be better than at any other pool in the country. A special filtration system will mean there will be minimal chemical content, which will greatly enhance the experience for users.

Since activity started on site at the beginning of the year, works have involved the main site footprint and progression of the substructure of the building.

The site was prepared for piling works, which involved amending the levels of the whole site, removing ground material and building up in other areas.

The piling rig has been on site for a couple of weeks and is installing the first phase of concrete piles that support the new structure and take the weight down to the existing bedrock below ground.

Works have progressed well, councillors were told, and the reinforced pile caps and ground beams, the foundations, are starting to be formed. This will form the base on to which the main building structure will be built.

St Sidwell’s Point is expected to open in around two years. The state-of-the-art facility will feature:

  • A main swimming pool and learners pool with moveable floors
  • A confidence water pool
  • A 100 seat spectator seated area
  • A café to seat 50
  • A 150 station fitness gym and two fitness studios
  • A health suite and spa facility
  • A children’s soft play area

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