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SPN OCT 2012 IndustryNews


The famous Ironmonger Row swimming complex in Islington has been ‘internally waterproofed’ prior to its high profile reopening this autumn. The pool, managed by Aquaterra Leisure, now houses a modern pool, sauna and wet leisure facilities within

a traditional structure built in 1931. The extensive renovations on the building started in May 2010 with the objective of renovating the existing swimming pool and Turkish baths, as well as creating a children’s shallow pool.


STA has formed a new partnership with Swimtime, one of the UK’s largest swimming companies. The agreement means that tens of thousands more youngsters who learn to swim with Swimtime will benefit from STA’s International Learn to Swim Programme

Linda Price, Director of Swimtime, which delivers 12,000 lessons every week through a nationwide network of franchisees, said STA’s learn to swim programme was a perfect fit for the company.

“The structured curriculum provides very good progression for the youngest children; it allows children to progress at their own pace and builds water confidence in a fun and relaxed way using games before they start to learn specific swimming skills, which is crucial,” she explains. “It’s about teaching children how to swim, ensuring they are confident and competent in and around water. Learning to swim is such an important life skill to learn at a young age, and one that will transcend so many areas of your child and adult life, both recreationally and in sport.” STA’s programme has been designed specifically for swimming teachers and is supported by a range of awards that develop skills for life. The incentive based programme, which promotes the importance of water safety, consists of five levels to provide babies, infants and children of all ages, a structured, progressive and transparent swimming and water safety scheme.

Adequately protecting against mould and tile loss was identified as a key renovation area – essential for wet areas. The likelihood of having to deal with the consequences of the wrong choice is multiplied within commercial buildings where the sheer number, and often types, of wet room mean damp issues cannot be ignored. Fermacell’s Powerpanel H2O board was used to provide a protective layer on the internal walls and curved ceiling of the newly renovated North London pool. Around 2,000 square metres of 12.5mm board were installed by Simplicity Mouldings after it was specified by Tim Ronalds Architects. The board responds to this need because it is impervious to water and will resist damp conditions. It’s a 12.5mm thick cement bonded board with a laminated structure, further reinforced with alkali- resistant glass fibre, making it lightweight, strong and versatile.

Adam Goodfellow, director and architect at, Tim Ronalds Architects, commented: “We selected Fermacell as a dry-lining solution for the walls and ceilings, including the pool halls, wet changing areas and showers. The reason behind this was that, in our experience, it is the only product where both the board and the finishing do not rely on specialist coatings.”

Andrew Richardson, Technical Manager at Fermacell, said: “Waterproofing the wide range of wet rooms within leisure centres has always proved to be a huge challenge, simply because many do not have the right products to do the job correctly, first time. “This is the ideal board for waterproofing as it has been specifically designed with this job in mind. Being only 12.5mm thick means it can be married up to other Fermacell boards and makes it perfect for tiling without taking up unnecessary space.”


Luton’s long awaited £26m aquatic centre which includes a new national standard 50 metre pool and international standard diving pool has been completed.

The centre was open to the public from mid August and it forms the centrepiece of the council’s drive to increase participation in sport and to address serious health problems in the borough.

Designed by S&P architects, the centre consists of: • 50 metre eight lane main pool, capable of holding national swimming competitions, with space for 400 spectators;

• 20 metre five lane community pool; • 10 metre high world class diving facility that meets the standards required for hosting international competitions;

• ‘Dry diving’ facility, featuring floor mounted trampolines and harnesses to allow divers to practice in safety.

Building work by Wates started on site in October 2010 and was completed within 22 months, with the two concrete pool tanks passing water tightness tests at the first attempt. The diving tower, the centrepiece of the main pool hall, was fabricated off-site in pre-cast concrete to give it the highest possible finish. Luton Learning & Community Partnership will be responsible for the hard facilities management of the Aquatics Centre until 2037.

Jason Brown, New Projects Manager for Luton

Learning & Community Partnership, said: “With the race on to capitalise on the public’s enthusiasm for taking up new sports post the Olympics, it’s great that we’ve been able hand over the Aquatics Centre on time and on budget. We have been able to deliver a world class sporting facility, which will not only encourage the people of Luton to increase their participation in sports, but could result in a few future members of Team GB swimming their first lengths in the pool or taking their first jump off a diving board.”

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