Wates Construction delivers landmark £33m leisure centre for Windsor and Maidenhead Council | Wates

National contractor Wates Construction has completed works at Braywick Leisure Centre, a major leisure and community hub for Windsor and Maidenhead Council, via the Major Works UK framework, part of the Scape National Construction framework.

The £33m facility at Braywick Park was built to replace the Council’s aging Magnet Leisure Centre, and features a 10-lane swimming pool, larger training and splash pools, a 200-station gym, four squash courts, sports hall, café, all-weather football pitch and 240 car parking spaces.

Improved sustainability was vital for the Council, and as well as being delivered as a carbon neutral project, the centre has been designed to use 70 per cent less energy than its predecessor.

Wates worked closely with architect Burke Richards and engineering consultants Hoare Lee to meet this target, with rainwater collected, stored and redirected to flush waste systems, LED lighting used throughout, and extra insulation deployed to reduce heating requirements. A collaborative culture was established from the very beginning between all partners, particularly with regard to the complex building services needed for plumbing and heating a large leisure build.

Community engagement was sought at every opportunity and, as well as investing £13k into supporting social enterprises, tree planting and gardening events, several initiatives to educate and inspire were delivered.

The project team arranged several site visits, networking events and assemblies for local schools as well as 13 work experience placements for students. Through Wates’ Building Futures programme, 17 jobseekers passed their CSCS test, with one employed as a Gateman since November 2018.

Work initially started on the project in October 2018 and was officially handed over as scheduled in September 2020, despite challenges posed by Covid-19.

Alec Jackman, business unit director for the Southern Home Counties at Wates Construction, said:

“Regenerating leisure hubs like this is essential to supporting healthy, sustainable communities, and every part of the Braywick Park site has been designed with the people who’ll be using it in mind. We hope it will become a real cornerstone of community in Maidenhead, leaving a lasting legacy for years to come.

“We are currently working on several Scape projects across the country, and we hope this project will be held up as an example of how supportive this procurement framework can be. By working in close partnership with the council, our delivery partners, a local supply chain and the wider community, we could overcome any obstacles easily, and I’d like to thank everyone who worked on this landmark project and made it such a success.”

Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said:

“The last six months have created challenges that would’ve made it easy for a project as ambitious as this to lose sight of its sustainability goals. However, it is to the immense credit of Wates and the council that they have gone above and beyond to ensure that this investment will maximise its impact across the local community in terms of physical, social and environmental health.

“Sustainability is becoming more important than ever for projects delivered by local authorities, and it’s our intention that our frameworks will continue to accelerate their delivery while becoming carbon-neutral as standard by 2028.”

Councillor Sayonara Luxton, Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, said:

“I am looking forward to accepting the keys to the building and seeing the transformation of the site. I am sure many residents will be looking forward to using this fantastic facility in the future and the many wonderful community spaces within the building.”

Braywick is the latest completion for Wates in the leisure sector, with other major projects currently being built including Sandwell Aquatics Centre and Halton Leisure Centre in Widnes, both also procured via Major Works UK, part of the Scape National Construction framework.

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