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Romford's Sapphire Ice and Leisure scoops prestigious UK-wide architecture awards

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 October 2019

Romford's Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre's pool has temporarily closed after reports a person became unwell. Picture: Ken Mears

Romford's Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre's pool has temporarily closed after reports a person became unwell. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

Sapphire Ice & Leisure, Romford's new ice rink, has been named the UK's Civic Building of the Year.

The building is being recognised for its architecture, complex construction and high standard of building practice.

At The Society for Public Architecture, Construction, Engineering and Surveying (Spaces) Awards, one of the most prestigious awards highlighting the best projects delivered by local authorities, the building also received an additional award for best community building.

Sapphire Ice & Leisure, named in tribute to mark 65 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, has welcomed around one million visitors since its opening in February 2018.

With its two pools, fitness suite, dance and spinning studios, sauna and café area, it is aptly described by Councillor Viddy Persaud, the borough's cabinet member for culture and leisure, as "offering so much choice that there's no excuse for anyone not to come along and get involved."

The leisure centre was built by Willmott Dixon, the UK's leading independent construction and property services company.

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It is managed by the UK leading operator of local leisure, gym, swim and activities, Everyone Active, on behalf of Havering Council.

Chris Tredget, managing director at Willmott Dixon, said: "This was a fantastic project to work on and has already made a huge impact in Romford.

"We have seen how much influence leisure schemes have on local economies as people flock to use the facilities.

"This award underlines how Sapphire Ice & Leisure has become a national example of successful high-street regeneration that will bring people, jobs and prosperity to Romford for many years to come."

The centre is just one part of Havering Council's multi-million pound investment in sports and leisure facilities.

Construction has commenced on a sports centre to open in Hornchurch in September 2020, and preliminary plans are being drawn up for a leisure centre in the south of the borough.

Councillor Persaud encourages all residents to visit Sapphire Ice & Leisure, if they haven't already, saying: "If you haven't been to the leisure centre and seen for yourself the superb facilities on display, this news is a great opportunity to find out more."

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