Aberavon Leisure Centre

Blyth & Blyth were engaged by Neath Port Talbot Council / Corban Investments to provide civil, structural and M&E consultancy services for their new, BREEAM Excellent, Leisure Centre and Community Hub on the seafront at Port Talbot.

Location: Port Talbot
Client: Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council / Corban Investments
Cost: £13.4m
Completion: 2015

Located in Port Talbot, Wales, the new Aberavon Leisure & Fitness Centre is a replacement for the previous Lido that was destroyed by a fire in 2009.

The new facility consists of a 25m x 17m main pool with a split length moving floor and boom, and a 17m x 8.5m learner pool which includes a children’s slide and water cannon feature.

Other facilities include four-court sports hall, 100 station gym, with additional studios for dance and spin classes, and community facilities comprising meeting rooms and café.

The structural form was developed to provide future flexibility with a large column free space with steel frame and curved glulam beams along the seafront designed to allow increased mezzanine space to the rear.

Key challenges

Initial design proposals were based on clearing the site to allow for a full new-build facility however working closely with the project architect a scheme was developed which incorporated an existing portal frame building which had previously been used as a bowling alley. In order to incorporate a first floor level, the portal frames were extended and strengthened. Additionally, the portal frames were designed to allow easy removal of the frame in order that the 4 courts to be increased to 6 should the demand and finance be available.

Ground conditions at the site required both significant temporary works to form the swimming pool and environmental remediation works which were supervised and validated by Blyth & Blyth through a full-time resident engineer.


The replacement leisure centre has provided Port Talbot with a state-of-the-art facility which has led the way for the further regeneration of the Aberavon Seafront and won ‘Best Public Service Building” award at the Local Authority Building Excellence Awards in 2016.

“Edrington have worked with Blyth and Blyth for the past 15 years on various projects throughout the group and during this time we have developed a close and trusting partnership. B&B offer the full range of engineering services, allowing us to have a one stop shop on engineering consultancy requirements, with the obvious benefits this brings. B&B experience in the whisky industry is second to none which has the double benefit of not wasting time and money having to explain the process each time. As said previously, Edrington have been working with B&B for more than15 years and with a fair wind this relationship will continue for a further 15 years and beyond.”

George McKenzie Engineering Director, The Edrington Group