Morpeth Leisure Center

Client:Willmott Dixon
Sector:Industrial and Commercial
A large modern building, with glass siding. Cafe seating on the paved area to the front of the building.

The Project

Power On has a growing reputation in the construction industry for tackling challenges head-on and engineering creative solutions for its customers. There were some very challenging timeframes and restrictions on this project but instead of standing at the brick wall, the Power On team rallied to meet the needs of the customer.

Morpeth Leisure Centre is a brand-new £21m state-of-the-art community hub funded by Northumberland County Council.

The Centre is being developed by Willmott Dixon and aims to boost the health and wellbeing of Morpeth residents by making leisure activities more accessible.

Once completed, the new leisure centre will include a six-lane swimming pool with spectator gallery, learner pool, spa facilities, four-court sports hall, 1OD-station fitness suite, and a dedicated cycling studio.

What did we do?

Willmott Dixon commissioned Power On to install a high-voltage commercial supply to the Leisure Centre site. The supply included the installation of a 500 kVA- package substation along with high- and low-voltage cabling to the termination point.

Challenges and solutions

These were considerable. Given that the project was being funded by the local authority to a specific deadline, time was of the essence. The pressure was on the Power On team to achieve off-site works within a two-week period, collaborating with all other statutory providers. This deadline was due to a required road closure within a blue-light route that had a maximum closure time of two weeks. Further challenges included the substation being in a flood zone, although the area was at a raised height. Power On’s Project Manager, understanding that the raised deck area would not be available at the time of the transformer installation, quickly designed an alternative decking of an especially durable and water-resistant timber base to provide the required elevation for the decking.

The energisation date was further compromised with plant specification changes from the supplier – a unit substation with its HV cable box at the front, instead of the required ground­ mounted substation, where the box was located at the rear. As all the trench work had been dug in preparation to receive the latter, the challenge to Power On to deliver a solution was substantial.

The answer came from Power On’s Project Manager. He inverted the HV cable box from bottom entry to top entry. Utilisation of the wall meant the HV cable could then be contained within the cable tray to reach the ring main unit. The teamwork was meticulous; the highest safety standards were ensured by their working alongside an engineer from the substation supplier.

Challenges overcome, the Power On team met the agreed energisation dates, with the HV supply being energised by July 2022 and the LV supply by early August 2022.

Customer benefits, as summarised by Power On …

It was our in-depth experience and proven track record on other, similar projects which enabled us to work through the challenges we encountered here to achieve a successful site conclusion. Our capacity for lateral thinking when confronted by a problem and our providing a communication throughout the project were effective elements in delivery and a source of reassurance to the client.



  • Electricity

We have had a few challenges on works at Morpeth Leisure Centre and I can’t thank the Power On Construction Engineer enough for his project support, which was absolutely first class. He has always been at the end of the phone, actioning the issues as quickly and effectively as he can. He’s a real asset to the business and credit where credit is due.

Andrew Rudkin,Senior Building Services Manager, Willmott Dixon
A large modern building, with glass siding. Cafe seating on the paved area to the front of the building.