High Wycombe Leisure Centre

High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Project Details

Wycombe District

Council Project Manager


Willmott Dixon

£39 million

Contract Period
87 weeks

Procurement Type
2-stage open book Form of Contract NEC 3 option A

16,506 m2

Apprentices Employed

Project Summary

  • For the design and construction of a new sports and leisure centre.
  • A multi storey car park, coach park and ride terminal with a car park.
  • Infastructure works within the site.
  • Construction of two new junctions along the adjacent A404 with further junction improvements.

Key Challenges

  • Access through the original leisure centres existing car park.
  • Building built adjacent to pre-existing leisure centre that was live throughout the construction.
  • The live leisure losing much of its parking capacity.
  • High pressure water main pipe ran through car park.
  • Unknown services found such as a fibre optic cable that runs up to Birmingham.
  • Very tight programme.
  • Over budget during second stage

How these were delivered

  • A planned traffic management plan.
  • Temporary traffic lights installed and someone permanently operating them to allow things to run smoothly.
  • Accelerated works on car park resulting in releasing 100 spaces four months early.
  • Diverted water pipe and no excavation zones, with a no heavy vehicle zones to stop the risk of flooding.
  • £5m saved through value engineering with the early involvement of supplier and reuse of land excavated on site.
  • Saved four months and 800k by bridging the gap with concrete to protect the cable instead of digging and lowering cable.

“The swimming pool caters for everyone, from elite athletes right the way through the community and teaching beginners of all ages to swim is tremendous. Around the country, swimming facilities are very, very expensive to run so when I heard the leisure centre was moving, the concern was that a lot of councils are doing away with swimming pools. The centre shows the commitment Wycombe has put into the community. The Sports centre, old and new, is much more than elite athletes, we do have athletes training here that will be in Rio in a few months time and that is a great thing, but it is about getting the community active and involved and the number of clubs involved here is incredible.”

Olympic rowing legend
Sir Steve Radgrave

Lessons Learnt:

The Good

  • Early engagement with Highways department.
  • Early engagement with supply chain partners.
  • Accelerated work on car parks.
  • £5m saved through value engineering.

The Challenges

  • Over budget through second stage.
  • Unknown buried services found.
  • High pressure water main ran through the car park.
  • Live adjacent leisure centre to building site.

SAVE Benefits & How

  • Used all supply chain partners within a 30 mile radius to site.
  • Early engagement with supply chain partners to design out risk.
  • Collaboration with Stakeholders helped manage
ContractGateway 2 PlanningGateway 3 Contract AgreementVariation
Time87 weeks87 weeks0

Apprentices – 360 training weeks
H&S – Zero harm
Average CSS score – 42/50 (Bronze award achieved)
Waste diverted from landfill – 99%
Cost / m2 – £2,179 /m2
BREEAM – Very good
ESP / Community – Targets achieved

Willmott Dixon

Guy Dawes
Framework Manager

“We’ve tried to make sure the specification meets what people wanted. Quite frankly I’m very impressed.”

Ray Williams,