Building work on North Devon’s new leisure centre is set to start this summer.

Parkwood Leisure has appointed Speller Metcalfe as contractor for the £14million Tarka Leisure Centre in Barnstaple.

The new centre will be built on land next to Tarka Tennis Centre and is due to be completed in February 2022.

Among the facilities will be Devon's first 'endless ski-slope', suitable for indoor skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing, which will be fitted out by a specialist contractor.

The building will also house a 25-metre eight lane swimming pool plus a four-lane learner pool, together with moveable floors, spectator seating and competition timing system.

North Devon Leisure Centre. Picture: Andy KeebleNorth Devon Leisure Centre. Picture: Andy Keeble

Other features include a sports hall with four courts, a large gym, three exercise studios, two with virtual technology.

There will also be an indoor soft play and outdoor play area, and a new reception area and cafe serving both the leisure centre and Tarka Tennis Centre.

North Devon Council appointed Parkwood Leisure to design, build and manage the new facility in September last year.

Glen Hall, managing director of Parkwood Leisure, said: "After a successful partnership working together on a brand new facility at Broughton Astley Leisure Centre we're delighted to be working with Speller Metcalfe again at Barnstaple Leisure Centre.

North Devon Leisure Centre. Picture: North Devon CouncilNorth Devon Leisure Centre. Picture: North Devon Council

"It's an exciting development and we're looking forward to see what we can achieve in providing state-of-the-art leisure facilities for the local community."

North Devon Council leases the management of the existing leisure centre, Tarka Tennis Centre and Ilfracombe Pool and Fitness Centre to Parkwood Leisure, which sub-contracts the operation to its not-for-profit-arm Lex Leisure.

With the agreement set to come to an end in May, the council's strategy and resources committee has been asked to extend the current contract with Parkwood until the new leisure centre is ready when it meets on March 2.

A report to the committee by the council's parks, leisure and culture officer Richard Slaney, said: "A contract for the operation of the Council's leisure facilities would normally be subject to a tendering process as a services concession.

"It is considered that, given the award of the design, build, operate and maintain contract for the new Tarka Leisure Centre and Ilfracombe Pool to the Council's incumbent contractor, Parkwood Leisure, running a tender process would be excessive."