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Aspire@ThePark Leisure and Wellbeing Hub

Largest wellbeing hub in the Wakefield district

As a direct result of our successful completion of Minsthorpe Leisure Centre for Wakefield Council, our leisure specialists were appointed to deliver the £17.4m Aspire@ThePark Leisure and Wellbeing Hub in Pontefract.

The hub is the largest of its kind ever built in the Wakefield district and aims to ensure local residents are able to exercise in a variety of ways to improve their health and wellbeing. The site has many fantastic new concepts, including a bouldering wall with interactive games, a splash pad for small children and a state of the art spinning room.

These compliment a 10-lane swimming pool with assistive lifeguard technology, a 20m studio pool with moveable floor and a gym which benefits from fantastic views across the park. The aim is that there is something for everyone and park users will also be able to take advantage of the café facility and wellbeing garden area.

The project manager Colin Tilley won silver at the Construction Manager awards, here is what the judges said:

As Colin Tilley had been on the construction management team for a previous leisure centre scheme for the client, he was well aware of how problematic swimming pools can be to build. He had, though, learned the lessons and reiterated them for the two pools in this scheme.
He focused on getting the concrete pour sequencing for the water tanks right, and mastering the logistics – in particular, moving the concrete shuttering in and out of a tight working space. He also cast the balance tank and backwash tank in situ in advance of both pools’ main walls.
His innovation came from his realisation that the traditional uplighters and mirrors/reflectors to project light throughout pool areas often look unsightly. Why not, he thought, install direct lighting instead?
The reason why not is that glare on the pool water can create safety issues. Undeterred, Colin located a leisure centre that had recently installed direct lighting throughout its pool hall. Much discussion ensued, with Colin’s non-glare solution winning out – not only because it was safe and offered great aesthetics, but also because it slashed running costs.
The client liked the honesty, passion and insistence on quality. Just as importantly, Colin ensured community relations never soured. He kept the neighbouring racecourse and residents in the picture, and allowed race-goers to leave their cars in his overflow car park and presented Christmas hampers to the neighbours.

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Firm commitment

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said:

“I am absolutely delighted to be able to officially open Aspire@ThePark. While we’re all disappointed that our residents can’t yet use the facility due to lockdown restrictions, we hope to welcome our first customers as soon as the Government allow us.
“To complete the project to the highest standards, Willmott Dixon, our build partner, have had to cope with numerous site difficulties, including a flooding incident and managing a construction project through Covid restrictions. The site never closed and I’d like to thank Willmott Dixon and all their supply chain for the fantastic quality of the building they have delivered. It is a wonderful facility, offering great opportunities to enjoy fitness, leisure and relaxation to communities across our district. We can’t wait for people to see it and start enjoying it.”

Read about creating a legacy of leisure

Cllr Jacquie Speight, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, added:

“I’m delighted with how the plans have come together and this will be an excellent addition to the district’s leisure offer, giving residents the purpose built, state of the art facilities they deserve. People will be able to access sport, recreation and wellbeing activities at the centre and the wider park so they can enjoy healthy lifestyles. This is so important for our residents and I know that this facility will be used and enjoyed for many generations to come.”

This is the latest in a series of leisure schemes worth over £200m that Willmott Dixon has been appointed to build in the last three years.

Recent examples of how Willmott Dixon is improving the provision of health, well-being and fitness facilities to communities include Littlehampton Wave Leisure Centre, Winchester Sport and Leisure Park, Sapphire Ice Rink and Swimming Pool in Romford, Elmbridge Xcel Sports Hub, University of Warwick’s Sports Hub and Stone Leisure Centre.


  • Follows successful hand over of Minsthorpe Pool for Wakefield Council
  • Largest of its kind ever in Wakefield district
  • Latest in a series of leisure schemes for Willmott Dixon across region
  • Creates legacy of fitness




Willmott Dixon House, Cliffe Park, Bruntcliffe Road, Morley, Leeds, West Yorkshire

LS27 0RY

Tel: 0113 238 3283

Fax: 0113 238 0286