King Alfred Leisure Centre
The King Alfred Leisure Centre in Brighton got off to an unusual start in life. Its opening was scheduled for 1939 and consequently the building was handed over to the Royal Navy as a training base.
After decommissioning, it opened as originally intended with two indoor saltwater pools, a restaurant, ballroom, underground car park, indoor bowls and ice skating rink. In 1983 a new pool complex was added and in 1994 a new fitness gym was built.
In 2011 a business case, driven by the Centre Manager, was put together which justified the development of a fitness area to accommodate local demand. The development was to be self-funded.
The Council wanted one company to control the project so everything would be sourced and delivered in a one-stop-shop: design, building works, project management and coordination as well as supply and installation of fitness, and other specialist equipment.
The main design objectives were to remodel redundant space to create income generation and comply with the requirements of the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act).
Improving user’s perception of the entrance/reception area was a consequence of the project. The space identified for redevelopment was originally a café and kitchen that had not been used for some years. This was visible through a glass wall in the reception area – a poor start to every visit for Centre users.
Createability’s design used this ‘dead’ space to accommodate a new, modern fitness environment including a 48-station gym and spinning studio with 14 bikes that had the added benefit of views over the seafront and promenade.
The building work had little impact on existing business as the area was already enclosed. However because building regulations are subject to constant change, new measures regarding energy conservation and efficiency came into force after this phase had been planned but our flexibility allowed the measures to be incorporated into the project.
Working in partnership
To have Createability head up the project was a logical decision for King Alfred Leisure Centre. It meant they did not have to select and source the variety of companies needed for the renovation. With Createability’s in house resources for design, architectural services and Quantity Surveyors they were the obvious choice.
“The redevelopment worked on a number of levels – income generation, staff morale and customer perception. At some stage in the future the Centre may be rebuilt, but this sends a clear message to our customers that the Council is prepared to reinvest in its leisure provision and at a standard that equates to that of local private sector operators. The reception area has been reinvigorated and the team have renewed levels of enthusiasm.
I’ve worked with a number of building contractors and wouldn’t use all of them again – but I would use Createability. Their standard of workmanship was of a high quality and the interaction we had with the on site team was good, which is particularly helpful during what can be a disruptive period.”
Kerry Taylor, Centre Manager