Work on new North Devon leisure centre remains on schedule

A design for the new North Devon leisure centre set to be built in Barnstaple in 2020. Picture: Wats

A design for the new North Devon leisure centre set to be built in Barnstaple in 2020. Picture: Watson Batty Architects - Credit: Watson Batty Architects

North Devon’s new state-of-the-art leisure centre is still on course to reopen in April 2022. 

Construction on the new £15m leisure centre, which will be built next to Tarka Tennis Centre in Barnstaple, has been under way for six months, and councillors last week heard that the build was only one week behind schedule. 

When complete, it will feature a 25m eight-lane competition swimming pool with movable floor, a 20m four-lane learner pool with movable floor, a sports hall with four badminton courts, a large gym, two multi-purpose exercise studios, spinning studio with virtual experience. 

It will also feature Devon’s first endless ski slope for indoor skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing, an indoor soft play, an outdoor play area, and a new reception area and café. 

Mark Kentell, contract delivery manager, told North Devon Council strategy and resources committee, that the project is only slightly delayed with them one week behind schedule, but that they are confident that they will catch up at some stage over the next year. 

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He said: “Despite Covid-19 and the subsequent restrictions and control measures imposed on construction sites, the programme is currently just one week behind schedule. The next notable milestone will be the excavation of the swimming pools.” 

So far, ground works have been undertaken with the piled foundations laid and tested, and construction of the steel frame is nearing completion, and Mr Kentell added: “We remain on track to open in just over a year’s time and are looking forward to an opening ceremony.” 

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Councillor David Worden, leader of the council, said it was a good news story that they were almost on schedule despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

The existing leisure centre will stay open and operational until the new leisure centre is completed. 

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