Romsey Rapids £1.5m Createability Revamp

Work has completed at Romsey Rapids Sports Complex in Hampshire, the extensive £1.5m refurbishment has seen the centre transform into a first class leisure destination complete with day spa facilities.

A significant part of the project included the renovation of the lagoon pool and hall, as well as remodelling the changing village including a closure of the swimming pools until the February half term.  The village changing has been completely stripped and replaced with new high-grade laminate cubicles and lockers in PfP’s orange and grey brand colours.  An area with benches for removing shoes before entering the changing room has been created, as well as a new vanity area with free to use hairdryers, a new disabled toilet and changing area and poolside showers.

“Years of humidity means the ceiling tiles weren’t in a good condition, so Createability will be replacing those, as well as carrying out renovations to the steel works and improvements to the ventilation and drainage throughout,” says Danny Churcher, Contract Manager for PfP Test Valley.  The old changing area was a bit of a rabbit warren, so this was reconfigured to create a better flow and include further family cubicles and bigger lockers to improve the customer journey.

Brian Thompson, Commercial Director of Createability has been leading on the project. He says:  “We have been limited on physical space, so have redesigned the changing area to make it feel bigger and really improve both how it looks and how it works for customers. Over the main pool, old fashioned curtain sails had been used to hide the plant area, which could also been seen from the Costa coffee area. They’ve been there a long time and are looking rather dusty and bedraggled, so have replaced those with something new, more practical and more refreshing.”

PfP took over the contract to manage the centre on behalf of Test Valley Borough Council 18 months ago.  Churcher explains: “Currently we welcome around 800 youngsters each month for swimming lessons. Once the pools are back in action we hope to push this to 1,000 pupils.  Our customers have been really supportive of the pools closure. We may previously have lost some due to the tired changing rooms, but they know we are the new contractor and, overwhelmingly, are really pleased the renovations are finally happening.”

Above the pools Createability have doubled the size of the centre’s existing health suite. The new facility has a blacked-out ceiling, to give the impression of a taller space, with ‘twinkle’ ceiling lights to create a relaxing feel.  The space showcases a large traditional sauna, steam room and feature drench showers, as well as a relaxation area with heated loungers, dedicated male and female changing areas and two treatment rooms.  Replacing the Jacuzzi will be an infra red sauna, which shares the benefits of deep muscle relaxation and rehabilitation.

“The new spa will go hand in hand with the recent £500,000 overhaul to the gym and studios, offering more of a high-end finish,” continues Churcher. “… all the facilities will be fresh, new and modern. It’s what customers expect and demand these days. If you look at the gym in a modern sports centre, there’s little gap between local authority and private clubs; they’re just as well equipped and trendy.  The industry is so competitive that we need to keep up.”

Places for People Leisure has a 30-year contract to manage the centre and is committed to investing in its facilities to support more active and healthier communities.  Churcher concludes: “We have a more mature demographic in the Romsey area, who are generally less interested in the gym, but do like to swim and use our toning tables.  The health suite will also cater for this market and we expect the redevelopment to increase our 3,000 membership by around 4%, as well as encouraging new pay and play customers.”