Putting Oldham on the national sporting map, the town’s new leisure centre is now home to two pools, fitness gym, sports hall, indoor bowling area and exercise studios. Situated in the public square at the entrance to the centre are 12 bespoke planters, supplied by Kinley.

  • The £15 million project was completed in October 2015
  • As Oldham’s flagship facility the centre will help to bring growth and regeneration to the town
  • Visitors to the centre can enjoy state-of-the-art facilities including a custom designed gym, 25 metre, six lane swimming pool and spa facilities
  • Kinley supplied 12 Planterline Bespoke COR-TEN steel planters to project contractor Willmott Dixon

About the project

Oldham Community Leisure and Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council tasked GT Architects and contractor Willmott Dixon with creating a venue suitable for attracting major regional sporting competitions.

Part of the town’s regeneration plans, the modern leisure centre creates a link between Oldham College and Oldham Sixth Form College, replacing the previous outdated facility. With a total project budget of £15 million, Wilmott Dixon enlisted landscape architecture firm OOBE to create an external space intended to draw visitors to the site.


Landscape architects OOBE set out to design an outside space with several bespoke features including granite seats, tilted light stacks and striking planters. Work on the project included landscaping improvements and public realm works to create an attractive outside area. 

Featured in the project designs were raised planters ranging in height from 0.6m to 2.9m, each set at different angles to complete the outside stepped area. Contractor Willmott Dixon chose to use Kinley’s Planterline Bespoke COR-TEN steel planters with a flush top edge to realise OOBE’s vision of custom multi-level planters. Leaving a narrow drainage gap between the paving and planters during installation removed any potential for staining of the paving by the COR-TEN panels to occur.

Kinley’s involvement

Kinley’s ability to provide completely bespoke planters appealed to the contractor and Planterline Bespoke provided a number of benefits to the project. Crafted from COR-TEN steel, the planters are robust and the material is self-healing, meaning any scratches sustained by the planters simply rust over.

The planters were delivered as a number of bolt together units, ensuring straightforward installation on the construction site. The unique folded design on the panels means that the planters are able to maintain a rigid structure without being too heavy. Kinley worked alongside Willmott Dixon throughout every stage of the construction process, beginning at the initial specification and design of the planters right through to on-site support during installation.

Stuart Bowie, Director at Kinley, said: “The leisure centre at Oldham is a hub for recreational activity in the town and it’s set to showcase leading regional and televised sporting events. We’re pleased to see that the completed project is already having such a positive impact on the town.”

“Creating a great outdoor space that adds value is central to Kinley’s beliefs. For this project, it was important that we delivered the product to the client’s exacting requirements for the project to run smoothly. This meant providing attractive and durable planters that could be easily installed alongside the raised seating area to complement and enhance the outdoor area.”

To find out more about Planterline Bespoke planters and Kinley’s other outdoor products, please click here to download more information. 


Share this post