GREAT Sankey’s revamped leisure centre has been recognised with a world-first award.

The neighbourhood hub, run by LiveWire for the council, is the first public building to secure a prestigious gold award for dementia design.

Part of the revamp work included redesigning the building to meet leading dementia-friendly standards throughout, creating a safe and welcoming environment for people living with the condition.

This week it officially achieved the prestigious DSDC (Dementia Services Development Centre) Gold Award from the University of Stirling – one of the leading educational institutions in the world for dementia design.

Dr Martin Quirke, Dementia Services Development Centre at University of Stirling, said: “Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub provides a ground-breaking example of how public organisations, businesses, and the construction industry can, through the design of public buildings and the services they contain, make meaningful contributions to maintaining and improving public health and social-inclusion within our communities – including the increasing number of people living with dementia.

“Warrington Borough Council and LiveWire’s success in achieving the highest quality of dementia and age-friendly design literally sets a new standard in dementia design quality for public buildings.

“We hope that the example set by this project shines a light for other organisations to show that it can be done, well, and beautifully.”

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “As our population gets older, it’s more important than ever that we deliver services which are able to fully meet their needs. That was key to our plans for Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub – to place dementia-friendliness at the heart of the facility, at every stage of its development.”

LiveWire’s managing director, Emma Hutchinson, said: “It’s important to remember that people with dementia can – and want to – remain physically active, and while most leisure centres facilitate for those with physical enablements, it was incredibly important to us to design facilities that cater for cognitive impairments.”

The building’s new state-of-the-art fitness suite provides easy-to-use kit enabling those with dementia to stay physically active.

The facility has been praised for its carefully-considered features which include free-flowing reception pods, natural and artificial lighting, clear signage and floor finishes.

Warrington Guardian: New sankey hub gym   first looks DG020218.

Staff have also received special training.

The hub also offers dementia-friendly exercise programmes, which include weekly quiet hours in the gym, and a group exercise class.

The class focuses on the physical and mental health of people affected by dementia and includes 40 minutes of low impact exercise, followed by a period of relaxation.