Sitting on the seafront in the popular Lincolnshire resort town, Cleethorpes Leisure Centre is a striking 1980s building with full height windows that maximise the views of the shoreline.
The facilities had always been operated by North East Lincolnshire Council’s outsourcing partner and had never undergone any significant refurbishment work but, in 2012, all the Council’s leisure assets were transferred to ‘Lincs Inspire’, a specially formed operating company with a board made up largely of councillors.
Explains Jon Wilcox from NE Lincolnshire Council: “With Lincs Inspire came a more aspirational focus on maximising the leisure centre’s potential and attracting more users. The first area identified for improvement was the changing arrangements and we turned to Sport England for funding to support a refurbishment from old-style, segregated changing rooms to a more family-friendly unisex changing village.”
The funding bid successfully raised 50% of the cost of revamping the changing facilities and was scheduled to go ahead, requiring a four-month shut down. With the exterior showing signs of wear and tear, leaks from the roof causing damage to the ceiling tiles and a dated ‘Club Tropicana’ style pool area, further works to Cleethorpes Leisure Centre would be required within the foreseeable future. As a result, the decision was taken to combine the changing rooms scheme with a more comprehensive leisure centre-wide refurbishment to enhance the facilities and improve the fabric of the building in a single shut down period, saving costs and disruption by combining all the works into a single £2 million project.
Designed by the Council’s architectural services partner, Cofely and delivered by main contractor, Gelder, the resulting six-month programme, involved both internal and external refurbishment to improve the fabric of the building, update the interior design and layout and maximise the appeal of its seafront location.
Jon continues: “The 5,000m2 roof was a major area of concern because water ingress had already started to discolour some of the ceiling tiles in the pool area so it was affecting both the internal environment and showing evidence of failure. We needed a system that could be installed quickly without the need for a strip out of the existing roofing materials. The chosen system also had to be able to withstand the marine environment, strong winds and high levels of UV that the leisure centre is subject to in its coastal location: Kemper System’s Kemperol V210 cold liquid-applied system was ideal.”
The roof was cleaned and prepared and the Kemperol V210 waterproofing system was then applied on top of the existing failed asphalt roof. Applied wet-on-wet in a single process, the Kemperol resin saturates a non-woven polyester reinforcement fleece and cures to form a seamless durable, UV stable, monolithic membrane that bonds directly to the substrate.
Stuart Hicks from Kemper System explains: “The Kemperol V210 system has been designed to withstand even the harshest conditions. The direct bond created across the entire overlaid substrate when the resin cures greatly reduces the risk of wind uplift during stormy conditions, which is important for a coastal project like this.”
The leisure centre’s external cladding was also replaced with a new, hardwearing system and feature lighting was introduced in the eaves of the roof to enable Lincs Inspire to light up the building in mood colours during the evening.
The new changing facilities that were the original trigger for the whole project were created by reconfiguring the space in the existing changing room areas to create a communal changing village. While the former single sex arrangement had made changing difficult for lone parents with children of the opposite gender, the new changing village features individual and family rooms along with the required toilet, shower and disabled access provision.
The M&E services were also upgraded to support the changes to the building and improve the leisure centre, creating a more comfortable and family-friendly environment.
Jon continues: “In the past, the air temperature had been good in the poolside areas but the changing areas had rarely been warm enough, so more efficient HVAC systems were installed to provide a suitable temperature throughout the leisure centre.”
The poolside itself was also a key focus for improvement. The original fit out included a palm tree which obscured the view of the coastline through the centre’s panoramic windows and looked very dated. The original fit out had also included a water slide that exited the building and came back inside again, and this had been closed for some time for safety reasons.
The palm tree has been replaced by an Art Deco-style statue which creates interest in the pool area without blocking the view. The slide, meanwhile, has been replaced by a new 34m indoor-only slide creating a family-friendly attraction in the leisure pool which is both safer and easier to maintain. The general poolside area has also been upgraded, including replacement of the floor tiles with a durable, anti-slip resin floor and new feature lighting.
Jon continues: “The pool itself was not altered but had to remain full while the poolside works were carried out because of the level of flex that could have caused damage to new floor and wall finishes if the weight of all that water was introduced after the refurbishment was completed.”
The leisure centre is now completed and welcoming users once again. Thanks to the de-cluttered internal spaces it also provides great views of the seafront.
Jon adds: “The whole concept was to create a visual synergy between the beach outside and the pool inside. NE Lincs Council has worked hard to ensure Cleethorpes has a clean beach and excellent water quality and this refurbishment can be seen as an extension of that commitment.”