More than 120 people are currently working on Huddersfield’s new £36m sports centre.

And 10 of them are apprentices working on a major project for the first time.

Work is on track and on Monday the Examiner had a tour of the sports centre site, where the first swimming pool tiles were fixed to the 25m pool by Clr Jean Calvert, Kirklees Council’s deputy leader.

The centre is on track to open next summer.

Clr Calvert said: “It’s looking brilliant, I’m impressed with everything and I think once people can see it they will be too.

“I think Huddersfield needs this. The current sports centre is looking shabby and we’re ready for something new.

“People are going to Brighouse pool, so this will keep people local and keep the Kirklees pound in Kirklees.”

The new centre’s 8600m² roof is now complete.

The 120 construction workers are working on all areas of the building - including the squash courts, leisure water facilities, 11m high climbing wall, fitness suite, dance studios, changing rooms, poolside café and children’s activity area.

Click on the video below to see a quick tour of some of the centre.

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People passing the Springwood site along the ring road will have seen the glass has been installed - and the room they can see inside will be the fun pool, which will boast a lazy river, a slide, a baby pool and water play area, as well as a spa.

The training pool will have a floor that can be raised and lowered, depending on the need of the groups using it.

Towards the rear of the sport centre is a sports hall for badminton and studios for dance classes, while the fitness suite is also towards the rear of the centre. It was originally to be the home of the indoor bowlers, but that was axed in favour of a larger gym, despite numerous protests from the bowlers.

The new centre will also have training, conference and adult social care facilities.

There are currently 10 apprentices working on site and the target is to pass 200 apprentice weeks during the course of the project.

Contractors BAM have also provided work experience to 18 young people to date, developing their skills.

The role of apprentices was set out in Kirklees Council’s procurement framework when choosing BAM Construction Ltd to build the new centre.

BAM have used Yorfutures shared apprenticeship scheme to recruit the apprentices and they have helped with the ground work, joinery, brickwork, plastering painting and decorating.

 

During the Examiner’s tour apprentice electricians were working on site.

Simon Sutcliffe, project manager for BAM Construction said: “We are now two thirds of the way through the build, and work is progressing well.

“We have reached the exciting part of the project for me - installing the internal finishes, tiling, glass balustrades, and ceilings. We will be starting work on the main water features to the pools soon.

“We have lots of hard work ahead, but are still on target to complete by summer 2015.”

Refurbishment work has also started in the subway leading from the site to the Huddersfield bus station.

Once the centre opens, Kirklees Active Leisure will manage it.

TIMELINE

2007: In January we revealed that a new £26m sports centre was being proposed as part of a deal where Tesco would move onto the existing sports centre site. At the time, they hoped it would open by 2011, with the new Tesco opening in 2014.

The council leader at the time, Clr Robert Light, said: “With complex development proposals there is a significant element of commercial confidentiality until they are finalised.”

The sentiment remains the same, with Kirklees Council still not revealing how much Tesco has contributed.

2008: In January the Cabinet approved the development plan with Tesco. Months later the Springwood car park was confirmed as the site for the new sports centre.

2008: In May Tesco said they would spend £120m on a new store on the site of the current sports centre.

2009: The Cabinet agreed to sell the sports centre land, but by 2009 the cost had risen to £36m and the opening date has been pushed back to 2012.

2010: In February Tesco submitted a planning application for the new superstore, and by March Kirklees Council submitted a planning application for the leisure centre. They were given permission to build the new sports centre in November, 2010, while Tesco got the green light to develop the Southgate site three months later.

2011: The Planning Inquiry got underway in November of 2011 where MP Barry Sheerman led the objections to the Tesco plan.

2012: In February the Planning Inspector gave the go-ahead for the Tesco store, paving the way for the sports centre to be built.

2012: April saw part of the Springwood car park close as road improvements were made ahead of the new sports centre. A contract with BAM was agreed and the date of opening was set for 2015.

2013: Building work finally got underway for the new sports centre last May.

2014: The steel frame is up, the roof is on and the sports hall, studios, swimming pools and changing rooms have been created inside.