By Ruth Crosbie
Helensburgh’s state-of-the art leisure centre (pictured above) is on track to open in 2022, despite the construction challenges brought by the global pandemic.
One year after construction began, the main building is structurally complete, with the external Lomond stone blockwork and glazing installed, there are new flood defences for the town and landscaping is well underway.
When it’s complete the council’s £22 million development will provide residents and visitors with new swimming and studio pools, and a gym and café with stunning views of the Clyde.
Access for all
The Helensburgh Waterfront Development is designed to be fully accessible for all users and includes:
- Pool pod access facilities to enable wheelchair users and anyone with mobility issues to independently access the pool.
- A moveable floor in the studio pool, making it easier for all swimming abilities
- A changing places toilet with hoist equipment and a changing bench
Employment and Next Generation Skills
As the local economy starts to recover from the impact of the pandemic, the build continues to support local employment. There are over eighty people working on site and many local contractors working on the project.
The project is creating vital training and experience for people starting out with their careers. The Council and its construction contractor Heron Bros Ltd offer a number of work placements and ongoing learning including:
- Apprentice civil engineers and stonemasons
- Trainee quantity surveyors
- Civil engineering graduates
- Apprentice joiners, plumbers and electricians
Councillor Gary Mulvaney, , Policy Lead, Financial Services and Major Projects: “This development not only offers a first class facility for residents and visitors, it provides vital skills and training to the next generation, and support for the local economy now when it needs it.
With ongoing Covid restrictions, it has taken a huge team effort from the Council, Heron Bros and our internal and external design consultants to get us to this important milestone.
It is remarkable to think of the progress to date considering the back office staff behind the Waterfront Development are working remotely to deliver the project.
The progress achieved in the face of considerable challenge is a testament to the power of partnership and professionalism. Congratulations to everyone involved.”
Cathal Heron, Regional Director for the Main Contractor, Heron Bros: “Heron Bros is extremely pleased with the progress made to date as we mark such a key milestone for the project. The celebration represents a high point not only for the project build, but for the entire project team, who have worked so effectively together in making such impressive progress.”
The project is supporting a number of community projects with donations from Heron Bros to local charities and material supplied to help initiatives including the Helensburgh Community Centre.
The Council appointed contractors Heron Bros Ltd to start work in August 2020. The project represents investment in Helensburgh of more than £22.3 million. This includes £5million awarded from the UK Government Libor Fund and £100, 000 from SportScotland.
21st century vision of how the new pool and pier will look.
The way we were – this was Helensburgh Pier and Pool back in the ‘Fifties.