New centre will feature Devon’s first interactive ski ramp

Work is due to get underway this summer on a £14m leisure centre in North Devon.

Tarka Leisure centre CGI. Credit Watson Batty Architects.
Tarka Leisure centre CGI. Credit Watson Batty Architects.

An interactive ‘endless ski ramp’ will be the Tarka Leisure Centre’s most unique feature and draw. It will be the first of its kind for Devon - accommodating skiers, snowboarders and tobogganers.
It will be built in a room that runs inside to out and will be fitted out by a specialist contractor.


Other new facilities include:

  • a 25m, eight-lane swimming pool and 20m trainer pool, both with moveable floors that allow the pools to reach up to 1.8m in depth. This will enable the leisure centre to provide fit-for-purpose lifeguard training facilities and accommodate additional sports such as water polo.
    Funding for the pool is funded in part by the Coastal Communities Fund and National Lottery grants through Sport England.

  • a four-court sports hall

  • a gym

  • three fitness studios

  • indoor soft play

  • café and reception area

  • external children’s play area

  • on-site parking

The Tarka Leisure Centre in Barnstaple will sit adjacent to Tarka Tennis and replace the outdated North Devon Leisure Centre on the Seven Brethren industrial estate, which has become unfit for purpose.

It is designed by Watson Batty Architects, and will be operated by Parkwood Leisure with main contractor Speller Metcalfe delivering the project which is due to complete in early 2022.