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.
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.
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.
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.