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Exeter’s unique new leisure centre shortlisted for major planning awards

Published: 11 May 2022

Exeter’s unique new leisure centre shortlisted for major planning awards St Sidwell's Point

Exeter’s state-of-the-art new leisure centre St Sidwell’s Point has been shortlisted in two top planning awards.

The leisure centre, which opened last month, has been shortlisted in the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Planning Excellence awards for Best Project (Health and Wellbeing).

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate outstanding plans, projects and people that demonstrate the power of planning.

The awards highlight exceptional examples of how planning and planners have a positive impact on our quality of life in creating exceptional places and protecting our environment.

Judges from the RTPI recently visited the low-energy, Passivhaus building to learn more about its planning journey and how it works within the overarching vision for the future of the city.

In particular the judges looked at:

  • Wellbeing at the heart of place
  • Promoting active travel
  • Supporting the city centre economy

Exeter City Council Leader Cllr Phil Bialyk said he was delighted with the awards shortlisting.

He said: “St Sidwell’s Point is an exceptional building - a UK first and climate resilient. It is something that Exeter should be immensely proud of.

“It’s also important to remember that the facility sets the tone for how the city will evolve in the future. Exeter is a city that is putting wellbeing at the heart of city development. That’s what Liveable Exeter is all about - putting people at the heart of place.”

In addition to shortlisting in the RTPI awards, St Sidwell’s Point has been shortlisted in the Planning Awards 2022 for:

  • Design excellence
  • Best use of arts, culture or sport in place-making

The Planning Awards showcase the outstanding work across the planning and place-making sectors.

The awards recognise excellence in planning and associated place-making disciplines including heritage conservation, urban design, economic development, partnership working, environmental consultancy, housing and law.

Results for both awards will be announced later in the summer.

St Sidwell’s Point, built next to the new Exeter Bus Station, has three pools, a gym with more than 100 stations, a premium spa, three group exercise studios, a soft play area, creche and cafe.

It features an eight-lane, 25m main pool and a four-lane, 20m learner pool, both with moveable floors, making learning to swim accessible to all who visit. There is also a confidence pool for children.

Due a special filtration process the pools will have exceptional water quality with minimal chemical content, which will greatly improve the experience for swimmers compared to a standard pool.

For more information and membership details visit

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