Construction Enquirer News The Sands centre will be expanded while the rest of the building remains open

Wates Construction has started work on a £21.5m leisure and community hub in Carlisle.

The project will see the redevelopment and expansion of the current facility at The Sands Centre.

Set across two storeys, the new build extension will add 40,000 sq ft to the existing facility, allowing for an events hall, a four-court sports hall, a 25m swimming pool with spectator seating and a 20m learner pool.  

The new Sands Centre will also boast a café and bar area, dance studios and a non-clinical NHS facility, to create a community hub for Carlisle. 

As part of its enabling works, Wates has supported Carlisle City Council and their leisure provider GLL by creating a temporary leisure facility at the nearby Newman’s School to support capacity for the community. 

Other delivery partners appointed to the project include Pick Everard, GT3 Architects, Buro Happold and FT Leisure.

The project is Wates’ third major leisure job secured under the SCAPE Construction framework, following the recent completion of the carbon-neutral Braywick Leisure Centre, and the landmark Sandwell Aquatics Centre set to be completed in early 2022.

Dave Saville, Business Unit Director for Wates Construction in the North West, said: “This is an incredibly ambitious and complex build, but one which will be of real benefit to for the community in Carlisle.

“We’ve been working with the council around feasibility of this project since 2018, and seeing construction start on site is testament to the hard work of our teams, design partners and the client, who have all been so committed to making this leisure project a reality.”

Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr John Mallinson, said: “This is another important step forward for The Sands Redevelopment. Even through challenging times, the project and works have continued. Thanks to all the project team for moving this important community facility forward.

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