Pyramids Leisure Centre
Running and maintenance costs had escalated disproportionately in comparison to the revenue the Pyramids Centre could generate. The fabric of the building had deteriorated and considerable investment was required to re-energise the site if it were to become financially viable. Leisure trust Southsea Community Leisure Limited was formed to develop and operate the facility.
Createability created a design in response to the brief of ‘turning wasted space into commercially viable, income generating areas; putting life back into the building and transforming the space into multi-area leisure facilities that meet local demand’. The building, not untypical of an 80’s Centre had the benefit of large unused areas, such as spectator galleries; balconies and large café/seating areas that were ideal for conversion. With design brief of maximising revenue Createability drew up plans to enclose and install an 80-station gym in the biggest empty space, a spectator gallery. The design included conversion of a large café area to a health spa with new changing facilities and a dedicated reception area to service these new areas, and give the ‘health club’ an upmarket ambiance. To provide activities for local children in a highly visible area it was proposed that a second balcony area be converted to a Soft Play World designed to accommodate 70 youngsters.
Createability’s objective in this phase was to complete the work to a high standard as efficiently as possible. This involved structuring and sticking to a schedule that coordinated the various trades, products and suppliers involved.
To minimise the loss of swimming provision, the pool was the first area to be completed. A short period of downtime was necessary but work was undertaken so the pool could be reopened during the school holidays. A new main reception was built and changing rooms refurbished as part of this phase. The ‘health club’ was housed in little or unused areas so these were completed without any major impact on other activities.
“The site has been transformed and the new development provides the area with a family destination to be proud of. The Council had been providing a support grant of £882,000 annually but we are on track to reduce this over the next two years, so the facility becomes self-funded. This is the third time I’ve worked with Createability and was confident they would deliver a quality job within the agreed timescales and budget. As with most projects there are inevitably ‘on the hoof’ revisions to the original design, but Createability’s flexibility managed to accommodate the changes we wanted within the agreed budget,”
Gary Milne, Managing Director, Southsea Leisure Trust.