The UK swimming pool and spa sectors celebrated one of its best years in a decade at its annual UK Pool & Spa Awards with an *eight per cent increase in business.
More hostages to fortune with the unpredictable British weather, rather than the economy; two months of sustained summer temperatures in July and August provided the swimming pool builders and hot tub retailers with a vital business boost.
Sales of outdoor hot tubs are beginnng to return to their peak of eight years ago. Although domestic swimming pool new builds is still low, investment in the refurbishment and upgrade of existing swimming pools is providing a lifeline for many companies.
Sustained investment in the UK holiday park market helped boost commercial swimming pool performance despite budget cuts impacting on local authority owned pools.
“Although new projects are down, renovation and upgrades, especially improving energy efficiency, have provided the best figures for both the residential and commercial swimming pool markets for many years,” commented Christina Connor, editor of the leading trade publication, Pool & Spa Scene.
“The hot tub sector has seen renewed interested as part of the growing home improvement spend, as more householders look to invest in ourdoor living, not just for the summer, but all year round.”
Now in their fifth year, the UK Pool & Spa Awarads are open to an estimated 1500 business involved in the delivery of water leisure. Nearly 40 winning companies, in 21 categories, were presented with their trophies by Olympic bronze medallist and sports personality Stephen Parry, following votes registered on line and by an internationaljudges jury.
The WINNING entries are listed below.
WINNER: Team Of The Year (International)
Formed by Phil Moseley and Gil Gingell, Darlly Europe currently supply to 600 pool and spa retailers across 30 countries within Europe.
RUNNER-UP: Team Of The Year (International) Belhasa Projects LLC
Belhasa Projects are the oldest swimming pool, water features and spa maintenance company in Dubai, handling its major projects for 35 years.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Team Of The Year (International) SCS Expo
In partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, SCS Expo take the strain out of exhibiting overseas for hundreds of companies.
WINNER:Team Of The Year (UK)
The team from Portrait Pools and Enclosures turns dreams into reality with luxurious swimming pool design and construction in both residential and commercial markets. The team install state of- the-art filtration and chlorine-free water sanitation equipment.CAW Trading Group (Deep End Pools)
RUNNER-UP: Team Of The Year (UK) Deep End Pools have raised their profile by designing and constructing a number of high end tiled indoor and outdoor pools in addition to their busy service and maintenance department.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: JC Leisure
JC Leisure Engineering have had a successful year – retaining two national contracts for another three years and achieving another nationwide contract.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: North Spas
North Spas business strategy is built around a strong customer care model which starts as soon as a potential customer steps inside the showroom. The sales staff are provided with comprehensive product knowledge.
WINNER:Product Of The Year
CAW Trading Group (Deep End Pools)
By simply clicking the Vacvice onto any bull nose coping of a pool, and then clicking the pole to the Vacvice, it leaves hands free to safely plant the vacuuming hose. It won’t leave any marks or scratches as it comes with a bespoke water-proof padding.
RUNNER UP Servochem UK Ltd
Poolsafe Dual Action is a tile and metal descaler and cleaner that removes poolside scale, scum, body fats and calcium without effecting the pH balance.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: STA
STAadmin.co.uk is STA’s innovative web based software, which has simplified the process of analysing pool water testing and ensures that any problems identified can be resolved quickly and easily.
WINNER :Photograph Of The Year
Peterborough-based Posh Spas maximized the potential of a major PR coup after signing up Strictly Come Dancing and gymnastic star, Louis Smith, as its latest customer.
RUNNER UP: CAW Trading Group (Deep End Pools)
Encapsulating the English country garden setting, this photograph was taken of a new swimming pool that Deep End Pools constructed at a Grade 1 listed property.
HIGHLY COMMENEDED: Complete Spas
The photograph is of a spa and sauna located in a luxury chalet in the Pyrenees. The photograph was taken by the client to use on their website to promote the chalet.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Complete Pool Controls/GBswimstars
Complete Pool Controls (CPC), have become the first official sponsor for Great British diver Jack Laugher supporting him as he trains for next year’s Commonwealth Games and the Rio Olympics in 2016.
WINNER:Website Of The Year
RUNNER-UP: Deep End Pools
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Aqua Platinum Projects
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Guncast Swimming Pools
WINNER:Energy Efficiency Award
Aqua Platinum Projects Ltd
A project in Camden North London that was recently featured on Grand Designs was designed and installed by Aqua Platinum. They installed a Polypool system, which ensures a lower energy input than other pools systems. Any heat that was lost from the surface water of the pool was actively recovered by an environmental control unit.
RUNNER-UP: Aqua Blue Ltd
Aqua Blue’s philosophy is to work closely with their clients in a professional way and to hold together the diverse trades involved. The company are confident that the running costs will be much lower than normal for this type of energy hungry installation.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Hydropool
Hydropool have used their ‘Thermashield’ since 2000, which has the same efficiency as a 10ft square block of foam and in case of any servicing or repairs the Thermashield offers easy access to the mechanics of the hot tub. It also reuses waste heat of motors, pipes and shell to heat the water and has a polyfilm barrier that supports the plumbing.
WINNER:Best Marketing Advert Or Initiative
Servochem UK Ltd
Servochem UK created an advert to go in the August issue of Pool & Spa Scene to visually illustrate what their products can do. The company received an excellent response to the advert.
RUNNER-UP Posh Spas
Posh Spas achieved a PR coup after signing up Strictly Come Dancing and gymnastic star, Louis Smith, as its latest customer. Pictures of the 24-year-old Olympic silver medallist in his new hot tub have been splashed all over the local and national papers including a special feature in the celebrated Hello! magazine.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: CAW Trading Group (Deep End Pools)
For every one of the selected products purchased, the company will plant a tree down in Devon.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Darlly Europe
Darlly Europe’s latest Pure- Stream advertising campaign has been enormously successful since it first ran in Pool & Spa Scene; sales of the product have increased by over 40%.
WINNER:Health & Wellness Project Of The Year
Guncast Swimming Pools
The brief was to provide a Zen-like wellness suite within the limited confines of a London townhouse basement. Guncast delivered a stunning 6m x 5m pool with counter current swim units as well as a hydro spa zone within the pool, bubble jet seating, hydrotherapy walls jets and two power swan neck massagers.
RUNNER-UP: F T Leisure
F T Leisure Limited designed, supplied, installed and commissioned the swimming pool water treatment and filtration systems for the Spa in the Bulgari Hotel & Residences in Knightsbridge.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: David Lloyd Leisure
The £12m David Lloyd Leisure club in Farnham, features a plethora of state-of-the art facilities including the group’s largest Amida Spa. The 6,000 sq metre club houses a 1,200 sq metre Amida Spa, including six treatment rooms, four relaxation rooms, sauna, steam and experience rooms, and a spa plunge pool.
WINNER:Commercial Refurb Project Of The Year
This project was a 38m pool built in 1891 which was converted to two modern pools. Hydrospec were appointed as contractor for all works associated with the pool and pool hall area. Hydrospec’s John Cheek was especially proud of this project and the team who worked on it, and the clients were equally delighted with the new lease of life brought to this delightful old pool.
RUNNER-UP Cresta Leisure Ltd
There was an existing pool which originated as a concrete and tiled pool which had subsequently been fitted with an on-site liner. The client did not want to replace the liner, but wanted to revitalise the pool and upgrade the circulation and filtration. They also wanted to add some water play features and slide that would require water supplies from the pool.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Florida Pools and Spas
The brief for this project was to refurbish an existing domestic chateau that had been left in trust for 5 years and therefore not used. The chateau had to be transformed into a commercial gym and spa, whilst ensuring the pool and spa running costs were kept to a minimum.
WINNER:Commercial Pool Of The Year
Guncast Swimming Pools
Guncast were responsible for the design and installation of this pool structure, and the design and installation of the tiling scheme. The brief was to design and build a luxury vitality pool to cater to client’s needs of relaxation and pampering, whilst also providing a pool large enough for exercise.
RUNNER-UP F T Leisure Limited
The main pool at the Bert Williams Leisure Centre is a 25m 8-lane competition pool built to ASA standards. The separate 16.67m x 8m studio pool contains a full moveable floor system, enabling the facility to attract all levels of swimmer. The filtration systems and moveable floor were designed and installed by F T Leisure Limited.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: DG Pool & Leisure
DG Pool & Leisure were called to Christopher’s Children’s Hospice in Surrey last year, where they set about improving filtration and adding correct equipment to the pool. DG Pools spoke to the key suppliers and were offered support on many of the products. This reduced the overall cost of the project, saving the client over £8,000.
WINNER:Water Leisure Venue Of The Year
Waterworld Stoke is a modern well located, purpose built, all season and all weathers Tropical Aqua Park. It attracts over 400,000 visitors per annum and has an extensive range of water based rides and attractions suitable for all age groups.
RUNNER-UP: Sandcastle Waterpark
In the 84º tropical climate is truly something to entertain the whole family at Sandcastle Waterpark in Blackpool. Whether it’s the thrill of the slides like Masterblaster – the longest indoor rollercoaster waterslide in the world – or the more relaxing tranquil Shimmering Shallows.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Splashdown
Splashdown Quaywest, the UK’s biggest outdoor waterpark, is a great day out for all. From sun lovers to thrill seekers, brilliantly combining 8 adrenalin pumping flume rides and some of the English Riviera’s most spectacular views.
WINNER:Residential Refurbishment Of The Year
WINNER: Cheshire Wellness
This project entailed the refurbishment of an existing indoor liner pool; the original structure was replaced with a waterproof shell and transformed with black large format tiles to highlight the overall contemporary feel of the room.
RUNNER-UP: Wensum Pools
The brief for Wensum Pools was to remove and dispose of the existing winter cover, empty the pool water and remove the existing coping stones and liner lock. Also to excavate behind Roman End and dispose of fibreglass end and build a wall where Roman End was forming a rectangle.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: UK Swimming Pools Ltd
The brief for this project was to change from a liner to a ridged tiled interior. The original floor of the pool was just mud, so UK Swimming Pools had to cast a new reinforced concrete floor. The customer was thrilled with the mosaic tile conversion.
WINNER:Residential Indoor Pool Of The Year
Falcon Pools – Sena
This project was an indoor pool built for a property developer in an exclusive area of Surrey.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Portrait Pools – Rose Cottage
The roman end of the pool features a bubble pool with booster jets, air blower and stainless steel air pads, and touch pad control.
RUNNER-UP: Guncast Swimming Pools
Innovation was the key in this project and Guncast kept the pool as minimalistic as possible.
WINNER:Residential Outdoor Pool Of The Year
Bell Leisure has been established since 1975 as one of the leading swimming pool companies in the heart of Sussex. This 17m x 6m pool was installed by Bell Leisure and features polycarbonate solar heating below ground cover.
RUNNER-UP: Portrait Pools
The project has a spa end at one end of the pool with a dividing wall that is lower than the water level. This was designed so the automatic pool cover is able to cover the whole pool area.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Cresta Leisure Ltd
The client allowed Cresta Leisure to incorporate everything they felt necessary to achieve an outdoor pool which everyone is extremely proud of.
WINNER:Pool & Spa Showroom Of The Year
Home Counties Pools and Hot Tubs
2013 saw Home Counties celebrate its 30th anniversary of successful continuous trading at their show centre in Horsham, West Sussex. From very simple beginnings the show centre has evolved to one which today professionally show cases the many facets of the pool, spa and wellness industry.
The Chiswell Pools showroom is decked out with a selection of pools and swim spas. The team ensure that there is a good mix of products and try to have demonstration units of as many as possible and most importantly, a very welcoming attitude to visitors.
The Freedom Leisure show room site at Summerhill Garden Centre in Essex is a one stop shop offering a portfolio of leisure products including hot tubs, swim spas, log cabins, saunas, swimming and leisure pools, and pool enclosures.
WINNER:Spa Or Hot Tub Project Of The Year
The brief for this project was to create a contemporary hydrotherapy spa using high quality materials, for example, natural slate and iridescent mosaic.
RUNNER-UP: Hydropool (1)
The customer wanted to achieve the ultimate relaxation area within his garden. He built a construction that housed shower room/WC, hot tub, bar, pizza oven, BBQ and relaxation area.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Falcon Pools – Upper Ribsden
The spa features blue foil backed glass 25mm glass tiles, one white LED light, water jets and a touchpad UV system.
WINNER:Hot Tub Showroom Of The Year
Outdoor Living (Hull)
The Outdoor Living team in Hull has maximized the potential of a main road location to ensure drivers and passengers in thousands of cars that pass their showroom every day know exactly where to find the hot tub retailers. Once inside, visitors are not disappointed with a display of some 30 hot tubs, saunas and ancillary products.
The Hydropool showroom in Portsmouth boasts a 3,000 square foot floor space with glass bi-folding doors all around, keeping it very well lit. There is a comprehensive selection of 14 hot tubs which are all ready to be used should a customer wish to try one out along with four Swim Spas.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Outdoor Living (Leeds)
Based in a car showroom style building, Outdoor Living’s Leeds showroom displays the most up to date spas on display and is open 7 days a week in a clean, crisp setting. Water treatment products and other accessories are neatly displayed. A changing room allows for wet test opportunities.
*Random survey of 85 companies at recent UK Pool & Spa Expo.