The Brief:

Albert Avenue Pools and Fitness underwent a £11m transformation to become an amazing, state-of-the-art leisure facility for residents of Hull.

Built in the 1920s, the centre contained an indoor and outdoor pool, but the lido had been out of use for swimmers for almost 30 years, only being used by a local kayaking society.

The whole centre badly needed refurbishment, as plant and equipment reached the end of its life, and Hull City Council made the decision to bring the lido back into use, giving city dwellers the chance to experience outdoor swimming.


The Solution:

The project was undertaken by construction firm Hobson & Porter, who had delivered several similar schemes in the past, including refurbishments and extensions of Hull’s Woodford Leisure Centre and Beverley Road Baths.

The project began in January 2021, with the centre initially closing throughout the autumn of 2020.

Works included:

  • Refurbishment of the existing facilities, including the two indoor pools.
  • The construction of a brand new lido.
  • Installation of brand new filtration technology, known as microfiltration – a sustainable solution to filtering the lido.
  • The creation of a splash play area for families.
  • A new two-storey gym, to bring the centre into line with other Hull leisure facilities.
  • The refurbishment of a studio and supporting changing rooms on the first floor
  • New changing area for the large pool to make more efficient use of space, including single cubicles, family-sized changing rooms and larger cubicles for disabled customers.
  • The addition of a Changing Places facility.
  • Refurbishment of the reception area.
  • Refurbishment of the full interior, including new floor, wall and ceiling finishes, to create a bright, vibrant and modern appearance.
  • Landscaping of the external areas.
  • Resurfacing and expansion of the car park.
  • Exterior upgrades, including cladding and the roof.
  • Replacing all mechanical and electrical plant and equipment.
  • Installing new heating and ventilation systems.

The Challenges:

The project was a complex and lengthy one, with the lido area proving especially challenging. The construction of the new lido required the installation of 180 piles, reinforced concrete structures, along with the replacement of all plant and equipment.

The building was originally built in the 1920s, and although there were many historical features, they had frequently been hidden by prior renovations. They were restored and reinstated as part of the centre’s makeover.

As this was a building refurbishment, rather than a demolition and new build, the limitations of working within an existing building structure also involved careful planning of work.

The Results:

The result of the project is a modern fitness and leisure facility which gives Hull’s residents a top-class swimming and exercise experience.

Facilities include:

  • A completely newly built and repurposed lido, for outdoor swimming and water play, which is heated seasonally to an average of 28 degrees Celsius. As well as use by swimmers and families, it’ll also be the home of a number of clubs, including Kingston Kayak Club and Humberside Water Polo Club.
  • Two indoor swimming pools.
  • A 60 station fitness gym, with brand new cardio and resistance machines, Olympic free weights equipment and functional fitness rig including resistance sled, providing customers with fantastic strength and cardio workout.
  • A brand new fitness studio upstairs containing an immersive virtual fitness experience where customers will be able to enjoy hundreds of classes on screen. In addition the studio will host cardio, core and holistic fitness classes in an environment which can be tailored for the type of session taking place.
  • A new sauna located on the main poolside.
  • A fully refitted reception area.
  • A customer viewing area for both the small and main pools, so parents can watch their children’s swimming lessons.
  • A refurbished upstairs area ideal for meetings, community groups and parties.

The official opening involved a giant game of hook a duck with Hull’s Lord Mayor, where over 60 rubber ducks designed by local primary school pupils were launched into the lido. The competition was run to coincide with a drowning prevention campaign, promoting safety in and around water. The winning design won their class the unique opportunity of a class swim lesson in the lido, something which hasn’t been able to take place in 30 years.

The new facilities have been given the seal of approval by Hull residents, with families queuing outside on opening day to try the pool, and 16,148 people visiting the centre in its first month.

James Prest, Project Manager at Hull Esteem said:

“The transformation of Albert Avenue Pools has been a fantastic project to be part of.

“Working in partnership with the council, our contractors Hobson & Porter and the local supply chain to develop this much loved facility into a vibrant modern leisure centre that the people of Hull can enjoy for years to come has been an absolute pleasure. Not only does it see the outdoor lido reopen after many years, but the new gym and fitness studio creates more space for people to use and stay active.”

Richard Hunter, Managing Director of Hobson & Porter said:

“Albert Avenue Pools & Fitness is now a superb addition to Hull’s leisure and fitness estate and Hobson & Porter are incredibly proud to have played a part in realising this bold and exciting vision.”