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Environmentally-friendly solution to national pool closures

Swim England has put its weight behind a new generation of environmentally friendly, cost-effective swimming and leisure facilities using the latest building and pool technology.

A collaboration between Cowan Architects and Paragon Structures will provide a solution for many of the UK’s casual swimmers who have been left without a place to swim by the permanent, post-Covid closure of their local pools as it becomes no longer viable to continue to run the 44 per cent of swimming pools that are 30 years old or more. 

Swim England approached Paragon Structures, a specialist sports facility contractor, to undertake a feasibility study for an innovative, high quality, cost effective and environmentally friendly swim and leisure facility solution. The national governing body for swimming is seeking practical and affordable solutions to replace the ageing stock of swimming pools across the UK. 

Cowan Architects partnered Paragon Structures to carry out a feasibility report that provides a blueprint for the future of swimming facilities. Construction consultants, Synergy, provided costs for the developed concept design. 

The Sprung structures will use insulated, tensioned membranes that offer rapid erection times and versatile designs for ongoing, cost proficiency. They were used to house Millfield School’s award-winning golf and cricket centres which opened in March.

“We have an eye on the long-term future and the replacement of ageing, unsustainable facilities. We therefore welcome solutions such as this for local and private sector partners to consider when developing long-term strategies for the replacement and addition of swimming facilities,” says Richard Lamburn, head of facilities at Swim England.

The flexibility of the Sprung structure allows the design to be tailored to meet the individual needs of the community. The detailed floor plan includes space for activity areas, a changing village, café, viewing galleries, reception and offices.

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