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The wait is nearly over for the opening of Exeter’s brand-new leisure centre St Sidwell’s Point – the first of its kind in the UK to be built to ultra-energy efficient Passivhaus standard. 

The new leisure centre will be run in-house by the Council’s Exeter Leisure team, which took over the running of the Council’s leisure centres in September 2020.  

St Sidwell’s Point meets two of Exeter’s top priorities – a Healthy and Active City and Net Zero Carbon Exeter 2030. 

Built right next to the new Exeter Bus Station, it is a major public sector investment that will help to create a sustainable city by attracting large numbers of residents and visitors into the city centre. 

Cllr Duncan Wood, Lead Councillor for Leisure and Physical Activity, said: “Back when we started looking to build St Sidwell’s Point we wanted to provide Exeter residents with the very best. We feel we have achieved this with a world class facility, setting the standard for centres across the country and it belongs to the residents of Exeter. 

It has been a long time coming but we can’t wait to open St Sidwell’s Point in the near future. People really will be amazed at the quality of the facilities on offer. The leisure centre is in a great location, it is extremely energy efficient and will serve the citizens of Exeter for decades to come. 

I’m so glad this project is nearing completion and the City Council has been able to fund – and will directly run – one of the very best leisure centres in the whole country – opening St Sidwell’s Point will be a massive boost for the city.” 

Exeter is nationally-recognised as a centre of excellence for Passivhaus building and the design and build is a UK first for a leisure centre. 

Passivhaus buildings have a very low heating requirement, achieved through mainly passive measures – excellent insulation, triple glazed windows, airtight spaces, no thermal bridges, ventilation and heat recovery.  

By improving the build quality, Passivhaus achieves excellent indoor comfort with no draughts, condensation or mould, and temperatures that are comfortable in both summer and winter. 

Expected to eventually save up to 70% on annual energy cost the landmark building is a grand design and has been modelled to withstand predicted change in climate up to 2080.  

Building biology is at the forefront of its design principle, and due to the selection of materials and design of the internal environment, customers can enjoy improved air quality, optimal air temperatures, and natural lighting.  

Plus, due to an ultra-filtration process, the pools will have exceptional water quality and require minimal chemical content, which will greatly improve the experience for swimmers compared to a standard pool. 

The state-of-the-art new leisure complex will feature an eight lane, 25m main pool and four lane, 20m learner pool, both with moveable floors making learning to swim accessible to all who visit. There’s also a confidence pool and a one hundred seat spectator area. 

Incredible views across Exeter will be visible from the 100 station gym.  The gym will be powered by top-of-the-range innovative and smart equipment from Technogym. There will be a designated free weights area, an impressive functional training rig plus group exercise zones – including an indoor cycling studio and two fitness studios.  

The fitness studios will allow people to choose from a range of virtual and live group exercise classes from the extensive programme, including indoor cycling.  

In addition, St Sidwell’s Point will feature premium spa facilities including a hydro-bath, foot spa and hot beds plus a salt vapour room, private bar and relaxation area, private roof terrace and a state-of-the-art sauna and saunarium. The spa will also feature a manicure and pedicure station plus four treatment rooms.  

For those people or families needing refreshments or facilities for children, the leisure centre will have its own in-centre café, crèche and soft play area.  

St Sidwell’s Point will form part of the existing Exeter Leisure Membership. This allows members to pick and choose activities that they want to participate in across all centres run by Exeter Leisure. To find out more, or to sign up, simply download the Exeter Leisure App.  

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