Brio Leisure is a specialist in delivering affordable leisure opportunities in West Cheshire. Its latest £600,000 refurbishment project at Northgate - supported by funding from Cheshire West and Chester Council and delivered by Qwest - has delivered a new look to the main entrance and reception areas [pictured], a ground-floor viewing area for the sports hall, and a brand-new café and serving zone.
Brio Leisure managing director, Elly McFahn, said that the first phase of renovations has helped provide a modern facility that is fit for the purpose of helping communities resume their leisure and wellbeing activities following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
McFahn said: “Northgate Arena has always been an iconic building in Chester, and for a long time now we have been working towards full upgrade and investment. This work started pre-Covid with a range of ‘behind the scenes’ underpinning works to the plant and mechanical and electrical systems throughout 2019. Whilst it would not have been obvious to customers that this work was going on, it was critical to the building’s longer-term sustainability.
“Brio and the Council used the forced closure periods brought about by lockdowns during the Coronavirus pandemic, as effectively as possible to put in place a £600,000 first phase investment. This has included a completely revamped main entrance foyer, which now opens into the café, and provides ground floor visibility of the sports hall. Along with complete redecoration, new lighting, and a digital interactive screen, this area now forms the first part of a phased programme of whole site investment.”
The next phase of the renovation project will include upgrades to Northgate Arena’s pool hall, changing rooms and toilets, as well as the first-floor gym, fitness spaces and changing areas.
McFahn added: “This next phase is significantly more complex, and plans are being developed to consider how the site could remain flexibly in use whilst the works are carried out.”
Cheshire West and Chester Council leader, Councillor Louise Gittins, commented: “This hugely exciting step will complement the continuing development and improvements being delivered in Chester to support the local area. Supporting our residents to look after their health and wellbeing is now more important than ever.
“This programme of refurbishments will ensure that Northgate Arena can deliver accessible, affordable leisure, health and wellbeing services, tailored to the needs of local people and support and improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities across our borough.”