|The scheme, which will transform the centre in to a modern, dynamic sports facility, will see a complete overhaul of the whole interior of the sports centre, with the creation of an adventure play area with three party rooms, and a split-level fitness suite. The existing fitness suite will be converted into a multi-functional exercise studio. An Immersive group cycling studio will also be created giving the centre two dedicated studio spaces. A coffee shop and café will be included and all other remaining areas of the building will be renovated.
To improve accessibility to the pool and fitness suite for people with a disability, Sport England has provided a £335,000 grant. This will fund the reconfiguration of the outdated male, female and group changing rooms into a family-friendly ‘Village Change’ and the redecoration of the pool balcony. The outdoor pitch changing rooms will also benefit from a refurbishment.
To modernise the centre and keep abreast of current trends, the existing fitness suite will be converted into a multi-functional exercise studio, where the council’s chosen fitness equipment supplier, Precor, will install a 14-metre Queenax Bridge. The functional training rig will enable the centre to run split classes and circuit sessions, incorporating three Assault AirRunners and two Assault AirBike Elites.
Paul Bolus, Precor’s sales representative for the North, says: “St Helens is keen to diversify the offering across its three local leisure centres, with the impressive Queenax at Selwyn Jones making it the ‘go to’ for functional training, whilst nearby Queens Park offers a first-class group exercise timetable. Members have access to all three sites, so can choose their location based on what activity they are looking to engage with.”
The glass-enclosed reception desk will be remodelled to provide a low-level, welcoming space that caters for all and the interior design, incorporating light, bright, modern colour schemes will transform the centre from its current 1980’s look and feel.
To ensure the infrastructure supports the new development, the entire plant, heating and ventilation systems will be replaced. The £750,000 project will improve efficiencies, generating a more positive carbon footprint and ensuring that the centre remains fully functional and fit for purpose with a renewed lifecycle.
Createability’s Commercial Director, Brian Thompson says: “Replacing the plant is a significant part of the overall project, and is vital to support the redevelopment, which has been designed to drive up revenue. We surveyed heavily around the efficiency of this big building and the design will be far more efficient, both operationally and cost wise, with member experience at the forefront.”
Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Council’s portfolio holder for leisure, says: “We are committed to getting more people, more active, more often – especially families, young people, older people and those who are overweight. This investment will create a sports centre and facilities to encourage residents from across the borough and beyond to get fitter and healthier whilst having fun, long in to the future.”