After a two-year, 31million pound refurbishment, Manchester Aquatics Centre, the country’s busiest swimming pool, is about to reoped. Purpose-built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Queen Elizabeth II opened the Aquatics Centre on 12 October 2000, and it welcomed around half a million visitors each year before its temporary closure.
Manchester Aquatics Centre is a striking building on Oxford Road with a distinctive roof shaped like a wave. Inside, the leisure centre has seen a significant refurbishment of its facilities and has undergone works to improve its energy efficiency.
The Council has delivered upgrades to all areas and aspects of the building. Including improving all of the swimming pools, enhancing the health and fitness facilities which now features three new gym spaces all on one level, a new fitness class studio and new group cycle studio, leisure water (including new splash pad facilities), new café facilities, health suite, and changing spaces with new accessible changing provision to support disabled people and those with additional needs, and new digital and sustainable technologies to provide a more modern and efficient building.
The refurbishment of the Manchester Aquatics Centre allows Manchester residents to have direct access to state-of-the-art leisure facilities right in the city centre.
In line with Manchester City Council’s commitment to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2038, sustainability, energy efficiency and decarbonisation have been at the heart of the refurbishment.
Over £3m in investment was secured for New Green Technologies, funded by the National Public Sector Decarbonisations Scheme. Green energy systems and renewable energy sources have been implemented across the aquatics centre to reduce carbon emissions.
The existing gas heating system has been replaced by high efficiency, all electric Air Source Heat Pumps and 1006 solar panels have been installed on the roof of the centre, alongside a battery system that will allow the Manchester Aquatics Centre to use solar energy even on cloudier days. In addition to this, a Building Management System, using energy efficient lighting and new air handling units have also been introduced to preserve heat and reduce emissions.
Phase 2 of the refurbishment works will commence in September and will include upgrades to all basement areas, programmed over the next 12-month period.