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Queen’s Park Sports Centre opens in Chesterfield

An £11.25m leisure centre has opened in Chesterfield where the number of locals living healthy and active lifestyles is significantly below the national average. The Queen’s Park Sports Centre has

been funded by a range of sources comprising £6.725m from Chesterfield Borough Council, £2.5m from Chesterfield College, as part of a partnership agreement, £2m of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Strategic Facilities Fund and £25,000 from England Squash. Facilities in the new centre include an

Redefining the role of the public park

HLM has won the Landscape Institute’s ‘Design Ideas’ competition with a futuristic masterplan that reinvents the role of the public park today. The competition brief was to examine the

role of the public park in the 21st century and look at ways of revitalising and reclaiming urban parks to become multi- functional community spaces that are economically viable and sustainable. HLM’s winning exhibit ‘Power to the Park’

explored the largescale regeneration of Nine Elms, using London’s Vauxhall as a contextual example of a place in need of urban intervention. The masterplan concept merges Vauxhall Park with Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, which was once famed for its dynamic and energetic landscape, to create a scheme that seeks to restore the allure, creativity and wonder of Victorian parks renowned for their escapism from the smog and Industrial Revolution. HLM proposed a series of interventions

that they believe will transform the park of the future. These include solutions for renewable on-site energy generation, mixed funding and management models, innovative biomimicry and organic form,


night-time use, remote outdoor working connected to Wi-Fi, a renewed focus on biophilia and contact with nature and exhibits that will showcase the interface between green technologies, landscape and the environment. Designing the park as a day and night

time destination was fundamental to opening up opportunities for the public to visit at any given time and enjoy live entertainment such as concerts, cinema, theatre and exhibitions, which would be facilitated by energy from sustainable sources within the park. “It’s a shame that our parks have

adopted a ‘lockdown at sunset’ approach when they were once used throughout the day and evening and famed as destinations to visit. We feel that this is something we need to address in how we approach not only the design of our parks in future, but also their commercial potential. We want to return parks to the dynamic and exciting environments they once were famed for, while ensuring they retain the restorative aspects that make them so essential in dense cities,” said Catherine Simpson, landscape architect at HLM.

eight lane main swimming pool with spectator seating; a learner pool with moveable floor and children’s fun water features; an eight court sports hall with viewing area and moveable spectator seating; 80 station gym; activity studio; two glass back squash courts with moveable wall for other activity use; three training rooms and Freedom climbing facility. The existing Queen’s Park Sports

Centre will be demolished during 2016 once work to decommission the building is complete.

Images: Chesterfield Borough Council

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