Willmott Dixon fails to agree final price for Newcastle leisure job

Willmott Dixon is exiting its Newcastle leisure centre and swimming pool job after failing to agree a final price in the face of inflationary pressure.

The firm has agreed to complete enabling works under the preconstruction agreement while Newcastle City Council now attempts to find a new contractor.

According to local reports in ChronicleLive, the council is facing a £6m overspend on the £26m leisure centre in West Denton.

Paula Maines, cabinet member for a resilient city, said the authority “remains committed” to the project.

“Like many infrastructure projects, our leisure centre and swimming pool in the Outer West has been impacted by external factors including inflation,” she said.

“Over the last few months, Willmott Dixon have worked with us undertaking pre-construction services and enabling works.

“This period has now concluded, and change is necessary to reduce costs and bring them more in line with our budget.

“This delay inevitably means the centre will not be open by December 2024 as intended. We appreciate that residents will share our disappointment.”

The Leisure Centre, procured through Pagabo’s Major Works Framework, will include a 25m eight-lane swimming pool, a learner pool, a library, fitness studios, a café and a modern gym.

It will replace the former West Denton Pool and existing All Saints Sports Centre and is being funded with £20m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.


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