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Ribby Hall Village holiday park in Lancashire has invested £1.5m in a major refurbishment of its swimming facilities in a fast-track project lasting 12 weeks

“Demand for water play facilities is increasing, especially in holiday parks which need to be memorable and give customers a reason to return. A basic pool offering is no longer up to the job, but with a bespoke design and a range of water play facilities a pool can be transformed into something very special” says Simon Smith, managing director of World Leisure.

With this in mind five star Ribby Hall holiday village worked with World Leisure UK, investing £1.5m to redevelop the swimming pool facilities.

Ribby Hall Holiday Village

Ribby Hall Village on Lancashire’s Fylde Coast, in the North West of England is just 10 minutes drive from the beaches of Blackpool and Lytham St Annes.

Set in 100 acres of landscaped grounds, the Village is open all year long and offers a variety of self-catering accommodation as well as an adult-only Spa Hotel, which includes a fitness centre and luxury spa. Other facilities include seven restaurants, a health club, adventure playground and soft play area.

The family-owned business continually re-invests in the site to improve the holiday experience and includes a hands-on zoo and themed outdoor play area.

Swimming pool investment
Opened in 1997, the Village’s swimming pool is used by members and visitors alike. The pool, which was last refurbished eight years ago, had two slides as well as a basic spa and splash play facilities.  

The redevelopment included the installation of new slides including a 48m interactive play slide. Users climb a tower to the top of the slide, which then takes them out of the building and back inside again. As they come down, they can play an interactive touchpad game on the inside of the slide, which records their times. Users can challenge their friends and their scores, along with a picture, can be uploaded to social media platforms, while the top three scores are displayed in the pool area. World Leisure worked closely with Van Egdom to deliver this element of the project.

Splash pool refurbishment
The area includes an interactive aqua deck play structure with tipping buckets and integral slides. A themed Glass Reinforced Polyester toddlers’ pool links to the splash pool, with a slide and steps giving access to children and adults.

Other investments installed by World Leisure are a new sauna, salt steam room and feature showers, with new filtration and controls.

Rapid project delivery
World Leisure completed the work in twelve weeks instead of the usual six to twelve months. Co-ordination between the contractors and specialist sub-contractors were crucial to achieving delivery within this strict timeframe.

“Because the pool forms the centre of the building new access ways had to be created for members and guests, so they could continue to use the other facilities while works were in progress,” says Mark Leech, senior manager of Ribby Hall Village

Soaring popularity
Since the refurbishment, swimmer usage has jumped from 6,375 in 2016 to 15,419 in 2017.

“Our booking system allows guests to book a 90-minute swim session. Before the refurbishment, guests were only staying up to 60 minutes. Since the refurbishment, they are in the pool for the full 90 minutes and we now have to call out swimmers” says Leech.

Creating an interactive play space in Colchester

The leisure pool at Leisure World Colchester has been transformed into a highly interactive play area.

The site, run by Colchester Borough Council, now features a range of bright and colourful water play features from Hippo Leisure aimed at increasing water confidence for children of all ages and abilities.

A pirate themed water factory has been installed in the beach area, the focus of which is an interactive Waterball featuring low level water jets including fill and spill buckets, handwheels and cannons. Four interactive arms extend from the Waterball’s mast, one of which is joined to two further masts which feature a large tipping bucket and splash board, shark showers, water wheels, small tipping buckets and pelican squirts.

A variety of splash toys including a squirt station and interactive water channels have been installed for toddlers as well as a number of paddles which can be used to manipulate the flow of water through the features.

A pirate themed toddler slide with a porthole mirror and spinning treasures, as well as interactive wall panels featuring treasure island, sea serpent and whirlpool themed games provide tactile, visual and auditory stimulation.

Meanwhile, the upper pool has been rejuvenated with a pirate themed barrel falls platform now installed on its island. An extra large tipping bucket is gradually filled via a water jet and once full tips splashing water into the barrel below where it disappears and then shoots out of hidden pipes around its base, spraying children playing nearby.

The platform also features three short masts, each holding a large tipping bucket, waterwheel and shark shower. Three colourful extra large shark showers sit in the river area gently showering those below.

Growing visitor numbers at East Riding Leisure

A large water play elevation has helped to boost visitor numbers at the new East Riding Leisure Bridlington.

“Our 2016-17 (May to March) usage figures for the site are 140,000 users. This compares to just 56,705 pool users in the old centre” says senior facility manager Adam Mainprize.

The former leisure pool opened to the public at weekends and during the school holidays only. Thanks to the new design of the pool area, the centre has halved its lifeguard staffing requirements enabling it to open the water play area every day of the year. The addition of a play structure has encouraged daytime use from families in particular.

Designed and installed by Ustigate, the multi-level elevation offers a total play experience with a variety of rotating cannons that children can use to soak their friends in the pool as well as water effects on and off the structure such as the leaf and flower heads and dumping buckets.

The focal point of the structure is the huge Supersplash. Anticipation builds while a bucket fills with water and eventually spills over to release a massive splash of water over everyone in its spray zone.

The elevation incorporates two slides; a 360 degree turning slide for older children and a shorter slide designed for toddlers. Younger children can also create a range of water effects and play a variety of games in the toddler bay area, while cannons and rooster tail jets are dotted around the edge of the pool for non-elevation users to enjoy.

Seeflow technology, an impact-resistant polymer, has been incorporated into the elevation to reflect the sun’s rays and cast colourful patterns around the pool.

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