Perdiswell Leisure Centre


The Brief

This was a sensitive project to re-tile Perdiswell Leisure Centre pool. By the time Freedom Leisure were appointed there had been bad press for a number of years regarding the non-slip tiles failing which had resulted in serious injury to members of the public. The project was further complicated by budgets and timelines being announced in the press before the tender process had started.

It was understood that the pool would have to close to the public for part of the re-tiling, and it was important that this work was carried out during a period when the pool was in less use.

Clarkson Alliance was engaged September 2021 to work closely with Freedom Leisure to provide contract, cost management and design services to replace the tiles.

Project Delivery

Upon engagement, we carried out the necessary surveys, testing and design work in order to create a realistic cost and design plan. This revealed that the budget required was higher than had been originally publicised before engagement. The initial aspiration to close the pool over Christmas 2021 for just two-three weeks and re-open January 2022 was also unfeasible.

There was a council re-approval process, to approve the budget. The initial approval was passed on 30th November 2021, and the new tiles were approved 16th February 2022.

While waiting for approval of the new tiles, we tendered for a contractor, to keep the project on track. It also became apparent that there was no official project manager, so we stepped up to cover this role. To keep the pool operational for the longest time while the tiles were replaced, we recommended a two-phase approach during the summer holidays. Phase one was to close the changing rooms and keep the pool open, phase two was when the pool would need to be closed too.

Phase One – Problems! The changing rooms were closed on 9th May 2022, and we immediately hit unexpected issues on the first day. The cubicles which were supposed to be only screwed together, were also glued. Happily, the team found an ingenious solution which involved separating the cubicles from the wall and jacking them up for the tilers to work underneath. It was a great example of how all parties can work together when communicating well, and the cubicles were saved with minimal impact on the budget and timeframes.

Phase Two – The pool was closed to the public on 20th June 2022. The tiling was carried out along with ensuring the pool itself was carefully refilled and returned to public safety standards.

The Outcomes

This was a challenging project, handled in the glare of public bad press. The pool re-opened to the public, on programme, on 12th September 2022. It was less than £10k over budget (due to those glued cubicles) which was an achievement in itself.

Services Provided

Project Management, Cost Management, Design Services

Value: £300k

Client: Worcester City Council, via Freedom Leisure

Heritage Lottery Funded
Heritage Lottery Funded

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