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Case Study – Borough of Poole (BoP)

Case Studies

Borough of Poole (BoP)

Assessment of the Options for the Future Provision of the Dolphin Leisure Centre


The Borough of Poole (BoP) wished to make a decision on the future of the existing Dolphin Swimming Pool, as a result of a number of factors. These included:

  • The age and current condition of the facility;
  • The future needs and priorities identified in the 2013 Built Facilities Strategy which highlighted an existing deficiency of water space in the Borough, opportunities to reduce revenue costs, and the likely level of capital cost;
  • The need to build a new Secondary School in the Borough, and the fact that of the two site options being considered, one is the existing Dolphin Swimming Pool site.
  • The advantages of a refurbishment versus a new build, and a new build on an alternative site needed to be considered in terms of accessibility, usage levels, capital and revenue costs, and critically the condition and quality of the existing building, plus the infrastructure – nature and extent, required on site.

The identified future development options considered were:

1. Refurbishment of the Dolphin Swimming Pool;

2. Re-provision of the Dolphin Swimming Pool on the same site i.e. new build;

3. Re-provision of the Dolphin Swimming Pool on an alternative site i.e. new build.

The Borough of Poole decided to review its existing Dolphin Swimming Pool facility, to understand what options are available to them to replace the existing ageing building. In this context, SLL was appointed, along with partners B3 Architects, to undertake an assessment – facility mix, location, capital and revenue implications – of the options for future provision.



SLL recommended that with regards replacement of the Dolphin Swimming Pool that any Future investment is made into a new build Option as opposed to refurbishment of existing facilities on the same site.

The Borough of Poole is currently considering its options for the replacement of the Dolphin Swimming Pool, with a view to decision-making later on the project as part of a wider MasterPlan for the town centre..

The Assessment of Options was developed; the main components of the work comprised:

  • Review of all relevant background information
  • Site visit to the Dolphin Leisure Centre
  • Visual Assessment of existing building and plant
  • Site Visits to potential other locations
  • Identification of the Facility Mix required, moving forward
  • Assessment of the build options
  • Identification of the Capital and Revenue implications of a refurbishment versus a new build option, and development of detailed revenue modelling; a three further revenue modelling exercises were undertaken as Members wanted other options/facility mixes considered
  • Identification of Key Issues
  • Production of a draft report setting out the above, together with conclusions and recommendations
  • Production of the final report