PH20 is Given Green Light


Approval for a multimillion-pound sport and leisure centre investment in Perth city centre promises to deliver economic, environmental and community benefits.

Approval for a multimillion-pound sport and leisure centre investment in Perth city centre promises to deliver economic, environmental and community benefits.

Perth & Kinross Council has approved a significant multi-million-pound investment in PH20, an exciting fitness, sport and leisure venue that will see the local authority partner with Scotland’s oldest leisure trust, Live Active Leisure, to deliver an exemplary new facility as part of the wider regeneration strategy for Perth.

PH20 will be built to Passivhaus standards, representing a major step forward in the area’s contribution to meeting Scotland’s net carbon zero targets by 2045. PH20 will replace two existing venues – Perth Leisure Pool and Dewars Centre – which, although popular, are increasingly showing their age both from a financial and environmental perspective.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2027/28 and is expected to grow the current 400,000 annual visits to existing facilities by around 40%.

It will provide modernised leisure water facilities, as well as a traditional 25-metre pool and training pool, bowling, curling and skating, a health spa, family play facilities, conference support and café.

As well as attracting more leisure visitors to Perth city, PH20 will provide a diverse range of health and wellbeing activities for local people and communities across Perth and Kinross.

In addition to growing usage and income, the new venue will be built to energy- efficient Passivhaus standards to assist Live Active Leisure to reduce running costs and carbon emissions. The Passivhaus Standard ensures that energy-saving measures are an integral part of the building’s design, so that a high level of comfort can be provided to building users while minimising the energy used for heating and cooling.

Councillor Grant Laing, Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, said: “Buildings and the energy taken to heat and power them are a significant contributor to carbon emissions, responsible for 35% of total global energy consumption.

“We are committed to doing our part to reduce the environmental impact of buildings we are responsible for and getting it right from the beginning with PH20 by building energy efficiency in from the design stage is integral to this.

“But, PH20 is more than just the building. This investment will also deliver on our vision to support residents and visitors to Perth and Kinross to live healthier and more active lifestyles, supplementing our outstanding outdoor environment with an indoor offer catering to a variety of interests and activities.”

Buildings are a significant culprit of carbon emissions and are accountable for 35% of total global energy consumption. Passivhaus is a leading international design standard, that promotes slashing energy use from buildings while delivering high standards of comfort and health.

“Adopting these standards throughout the lifespan of the project will help the Council meet its climate change commitment to reduce carbon emissions from public buildings.”

David Maclehose, Chair of LAL commented: “By creating this new, iconic and vibrant sport and leisure venue, we’re ensuring that we continue to invest in the health and wellbeing of the entire community.

“Not only will PH20 provide a wealth of sport and fitness opportunities, giving everyone the chance to live an active life, but by replacing aging buildings in an environmentally sound way, our collaborative partnership with Perth & Kinross Council will deliver a win for all – community, visitors and the local authority.”

The strategic case for change:

Community, Economy, Environment

•These venues deliver key economic, educational, community and health benefits to residents and visitors, but they are at end of life.

•Pre-Covid, Perth Leisure Pool and Dewars Centre attracted over 400,000 annual usages of which 300,000 were Perth and Kinross residents.

•The existing buildings are a major constraint on the Council’s ability to meet the 2030 75% emissions reduction target. They generate over 1.6MKg of carbon emissions pa and cost over £500,000 each year in energy bills, projected to increase to £700,000 in 2022/23.

12 October 2022 By Oliver Johnstone