Kier lands £32.5m aquatics centre refurb

Kier has won a £32.5m job to refurbish the Manchester Aquatics Centre, which aims to decarbonise the sports facility.

The contract, which supports Manchester City Council’s work to become a net-zero city by 2038, will see the contractor deliver a combination of energy-efficiency measures, including a full MEP replacement and the addition of a number of renewable energy generation works.

Two air-source heat pumps will be installed as part of the decarbonising works, along with more than 1,000 solar panels – towards the aim of achieving the 30 per cent carbon-reduction target set by the council.

Supported by battery-storage facilities, the panels will reserve energy outside of daylight hours. The mechanical and electrical work will also undergo a complete overhaul to make it more energy efficient.

Kier will then move on to the refurbishment and modernisation of the venue. This will involve new plumbing, pool filtration, and wiring on the ground, first and second floors. The changing room and gym areas will also be reconfigured.

The work will progress on a phase-by-phase basis over two and half years, with the basement-level pool, changing facilities, offices and medical physio rooms staying open while work is completed elsewhere.

The contractor said it was confident about handling a live working environment, which is due to host the World Para Swimming Championships next summer.

Councillor John Hacking, executive member for skills, employment and leisure, said investment in the aquatics centre – originally built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games – would improve it for use in the future.

“The refurbishment and modernisation of the centre will be of the highest standards, using green technologies to reduce its carbon footprint, and [it] is part of the city’s drive to cut carbon emissions and save on energy costs,” he added.

Kier North & Scotland regional director Sean Fenner said the contractor intended to procure local suppliers.

“Kier is committed to leaving lasting local legacies, and this project gives us the opportunity to give back to the communities we live and work in through the social-value targets set across the duration of the refurbishment. These include procuring locally, with 55 per cent of the project spend to be within the Manchester region, a 75 per cent local labour charter and a pledge to create 15 new jobs throughout the duration of the project,” he said.

Last year, ISG was chosen for a £21m refurbishment of a cycling centre in Manchester.

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