Hartsdown Leisure Centre

Hartsdown Leisure Centre

Recent extensive retail and leisure development in the Margate area had created significant competition for Hartsdown Leisure Centre. New competitors had eroded uptake of fitness, the primary revenue stream, and in order to retain levels of business and income, the existing space needed upgrading to provide comparative, modern, and demand led products – doing nothing was not an option.

Project management
Createability offered a practical solution based on their leisure development experience. Working as part of a team, they liaised with all parties involved to provide a solution that addressed the condition of the building and upgraded the leisure facilities offer mix – within the allocated budget.

Bringing together quality products in a holistic development, transformed not only individual activity areas, but also the whole centre, from reception to changing rooms.

Design development
The solution identified that the fitness offer should be renewed and expanded within the main centre to make access easier – it was previously in a separate building. The customer experience begins and ends at reception so this area was to be remodelled to incorporate a café and a children’s activity section.

To achieve these two priorities more space was required but it was not possible to extend beyond the footprint of the building, which is bounded by essential car parking. To provide this space Createability proposed a mezzanine floor above the sports hall, which was also refurbished to create design cohesion throughout.

Construction phase
Createability worked with Thanet Leisure Force, (now Your Leisure) the operating trust, to sequence a programme of works through the six months construction phase to would minimise the impact on customers and revenue. To achieve this reception and the café were temporarily relocated but most areas remained open throughout.

Warren Reeve, The trust’s Operations Manager says “Createability was very helpful on site and managed to keep the operation running. Only the sports hall and dry changing rooms had to be taken out of action but as soon as individual areas were finished they were reopened. The first of these was the sports hall, followed by reception and the café.”


“The new facilities have been exceedingly well received and the development has brought a fresh outlook to the Centre with increased participation over all areas. Our customers have commented on the standard of the finish and the overall look of the building, which has been transformed by Createability. People are quite amazed at what has been achieved in such a short period of time.

The introduction of the soft play area appeals to the family market that we wanted to target but did not previously cater for. This new market sector has had the side effect of contributing to improved levels of participation in swimming. Uptake of the fitness area has also increased markedly. Incorporating this within the main building along with new studios and changing rooms has made it more accessible and given a ‘club’ feel which puts us on the same footing as local private sector competitors – but at a more affordable price.”

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Hartsdown LC Case Study.pdf
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  • Client: Hartsdown Leisure Centre
  • Contract Value: £1.4m