Birchwood Leisure and Tennis Complex
Birchwood Library is to be relocated into Birchwood Leisure and Tennis Complex to create a new community hub.
The refurbishment works are due to start from Monday 3 April, with contractors on site from Wednesday 29 March, and work expected to be completed by late summer.
The work has been programmed to take place in four phases to ensure that the centre, including the outdoor tennis courts, remains open and to minimise disruption to customers.
The first phase will see the reconfiguration of the leisure changing area and installation of a brand new dedicated Group Cycle studio on the ground floor. As part of this initial phase of works, the changing facilities will be closed temporarily from Monday 3 April for around 12 weeks.
The second phase of the works will include the transformation of an underutilised bar area and associated space into a modern, open plan library, including children’s area and public network computers.
Phase 3 will create additional fitness studio space, through the expansion of the existing first floor studio, to improve the space available for group fitness classes, alongside refurbishment of the fitness suite.
The final phase will include refurbishment of the entrance area and foyer. A new floor and curtains will be installed in the indoor tennis hall on completion of the main works, and the current library will remain open as usual throughout the duration of the works.
The redevelopment is being funded by the council, including using income from the sale of the former St Oliver Plunkett school site, which was committed to being invested in local community facilities.
Council leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “In recent years, the council has made a significant investment in leisure and library services across Warrington and it’s fantastic to see this continue. We have been able to use the income generated from the sale of the former school site – which is now a successful housing development of over 60 new homes – to invest back into community facilities that will benefit people living in Birchwood and neighbouring areas.
“The new hub will ensure people have access to state-of-the-art facilities to help them live active and healthy lifestyles, alongside a library space that meets the needs of the community, both now and in the future.”
The new-look Birchwood Community Hub is being redeveloped in line with the borough’s established hub model that places leisure, library and other community services under one roof, to encourage people to participate in new activities to support mental and physical wellbeing.
Cllr Tony Higgins, cabinet member for leisure and communities, said: “The redevelopment of the existing leisure and library sites in Birchwood is great news and will significantly benefit people living in the local community. We’re following our proven model of providing a wide range of services under one roof, which has been hugely successful in Orford, Woolston, Great Sankey, and most recently, in Bewsey and Dallam.
“The relocation of the library is part of our ongoing libraries modernisation plan, where improvements have been made across Warrington’s libraries, including refurbishments at Stockton Heath, Padgate and Penketh, soon to be followed by improvements to Culcheth Library. The creation of the community hub in Birchwood is building on the excellent work done so far to support Warrington residents to lead healthy and happy lives.”
Emma Hutchinson, Managing Director of LiveWire, said: “It’s fantastic that work is starting on Birchwood Community Hub. Moving the library to the same location as the leisure facilities will provide an excellent offer to local residents in a light, friendly and modern space, which we know has had a real positive impact in other areas of the borough.
“The improvements to the fitness suite, group fitness studios and changing area, followed by refurbishment of the indoor tennis hall, will significantly enhance the customer experience for both existing and new LiveWire members, and the phased planning of the works will minimise disruption as much as possible.”
For more information about Birchwood Community Hub, including proposed floor plans and frequently asked questions, visit LiveWire’s website.