Leisure centre developments

East Herts Council is investing £33m to improve its leisure centres in Hertford and Bishop's Stortford.

About the redevelopments

The plans involve two major investments in the leisure centres in Bishop's Stortford and Hertford:

  • A new replacement Grange Paddocks Leisure Centre
  • Extension and refurbishment of Hartham Leisure Centre

In July 2017, the Council approved capital funding for the redevelopments of Grange Paddocks, and Hartham. Capital funding was also approved for improvements at Ward Freman Pool, which will include a new gym facility in addition to pool hall and changing room improvements.

These projects aim to support the Council's vision for leisure across East Herts by providing attractive facilities available to the whole community and contributing to the health and well-being objectives of the Council.


Grange Paddocks Leisure Centre

The new leisure centre will be built to the south of the existing leisure centre and the existing centre will be demolished on completion of the new facility. The proposed new facility also includes external works such as the relocation of some existing pitches, new landscaping and external seating areas, a new play area and the creation of a new all-weather 3G pitch and tennis courts (subject to a future planning application).

The new leisure centre will include the following facilities:

Dry side

  • Reception/foyer area
  • Servery
  • Café & seating area
  • Multi-purpose room
  • 2 studios
  • Fitness suite for approximately 130 stations
  • Self-contained football changing facilities
  • Dry changing facilities

Wet side

  • 25m 8 lane competition main pool
  • Teaching pool with moveable floor
  • Confidence pool interactive water play features
  • Village change facilities for pool customers
  • Spectator seating for 200+ seats

 Planning permission was approved in November 2019 and more detailed information, including plans and designs, can be found on our planning pages.

Willmott Dixon will begin the construction phase to deliver the new leisure centre on 23 March 2020 and we are delighted to see this project enter the next phase. The construction will last for approximately 20 months, and the existing facility will be unaffected during this time, but please bear with us as we seek to minimise any disruption on site.

During the construction phase there will be a need to adjust the car parking arrangements at Grange Paddocks as follows: 

  • Car park C will close for the duration of the build, approximately 20 months from 30th March 2020.
  • Car park A will have a reduced number of spaces (numbers will vary from week to week) for up to 8 weeks from 30th March 2020 to 19th May 2020.
  • Car park B will be closed for four days – the first closure will be Friday 17th April 2020 for two days and the second will be Wednesday 22nd April 2020 for a further two days.

The 3G astro-turf pitch and tennis courts planning application will be submitted in summer 2020.

About the Contractor

The Council has awarded the  construction contract for Grange Paddocks Leisure Centre to Willmott Dixon Construction. Wilmott Dixon has procured a project team to support them in the project delivery which includes Saunders Boston Architects. 

Wilmott Dixon has a wide experience of delivering leisure based projects. More information about the construction contractors can be found on the Wilmott Dixon website.


Hartham Leisure Centre

Hartham Leisure Centre will be extended and refurbished, with the aim of enhancing the existing facilities and provide increased and improved leisure facilities to the local community. The new extension is proposed on the footprint of the existing reception area in order to minimise the visual and ecological impact of the new building.

Key elements of the plans for the site will include:

Dry side

  • Reception/foyer
  • Café & seating area
  • Soft play area
  • 3 studios
  • Refurbished and new dry changing facilities
  • Fitness suite for approximately 130 stations

Wet side

  • Refurbishment of pool and surrounds
  • Improvements to village change facilities for pool customers

The Council is currently reviewing the next steps for this project and more information will follow in due course.


Ward Freman Pool

The Council is improving the current facilities at Ward Freman in order to improve the range of leisure facilities available in the north of the District.

As part of this investment, there will be:

  • Creation of a new 28-station gym
  • Refurbished changing rooms, with new showers, changing areas and vanity units
  • Refreshed pool hall, with new lighting 
  • New layout, including changes to the foyer and changing areas
  • Improvements to the pool plant room 

This refurbishment project is expected to commence in Summer 2020 for approximately 12 weeks.