Islington Tennis Centre
The £1.8 million refurbishment project at Islington Tennis Centre is set to be a huge hit amongst tennis lovers up and down the country. The project focuses on improving quality and access for visitors at the local authority owned centre. Both London Borough of Islington (LBI) and GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited) who operate the leisure centre have huge ambitions to improve current participation in health and fitness. As the country’s largest social enterprise with a speciality in leisure, GLL has considerable experience in the sector.
Managing the build is Clarkson Alliance – established in 2003 with the sole purpose of providing customers with the highest quality of project management. GLL and LBI’s partnership with Clarkson Alliance is already seeing significant increases in two centres in Islington as part of a wider revitalisation scheme across five facilities in the area. Clarkson Alliance is providing project management, cost management and principal designer services for each project.
Improvements have been made at Cally Pool and Archway Leisure Centre since GLL, the charitable social enterprise, took over management of the Islington centres. The increased membership at each centre is a clear indicator the project objectives are being achieved. Works at a third centre, Sobell Leisure Centre have also just finished. All three projects were completed on time and within budget.
The main contractor for the Islington Tennis Centre project is Total Construction – who aim to provide a total service and is committed to quality and client satisfaction. The architects designing the build are Arkon Associates – who operate across various sectors and therefore have gained a reputation for quality sustainable design minimising the environmental impact of all projects. The project team also consists of mechanical and electrical engineers Qoda Consulting and structural engineers PEP Civil & Structures.
The new centre will feature a new studio for greater flexibility for classes, an extended gym to increase the number of visitors that can use the facilities, a new training room to provide dedicated space for the development of staff and customers, and new changing rooms and offices will also be created. The main works are focused on improving the interior facilities.
The construction programme is split into phases, as a way of keeping the centre in operation whilst still allowing construction work to continue. Users will experience a reduced amount of disruption as a result.
Premier Construction caught up with Daniel Bland, a Project Manager at Clarkson Alliance who had huge involvement with the Islington Tennis Centre project. Daniel told us:
“We’ve been working with London Borough of Islington and GLL to align their objectives and ensure the projects support them in achieving their leisure strategy. So far this has worked really well. We’ve seen it working at Cally Pool and Archway Leisure Centre and our experience makes us confident we will see improved participation at Islington Tennis Centre.”
Islington Partnership Manager Matt Perren said:
“GLL are making good progress on the most significant investment in Islington’s leisure programme for many years.
“We have worked closely with the Clarkson Alliance team on optimising solutions for the borough’s leisure estate – including recent works at Cally Pool, Archway Leisure Centre and Islington Tennis Centre.
“The end product meets our desire to deliver the highest quality leisure experience for Islington residents and allows for anticipated increase in footfall as the borough’s population rises.”
Islington Tennis Centre is due to complete in autumn 2016.