£860k refurb for resort pool gets nod

FELIXSTOWE'S swimming pool complex is set for a major brush up – after councillors gave the go-ahead for a refurbishment project costing £860,000.Councillors were told last night that without the work, swimmers who are already deserting the resort's leisure centre would continue do so at an even faster rate.

FELIXSTOWE'S swimming pool complex is set for a major brush up – after councillors gave the go-ahead for a refurbishment project costing £860,000.

Councillors were told last night that without the work, swimmers who are already deserting the resort's leisure centre would continue do so at an even faster rate.

People have become extremely unhappy with the state of the seafront centre in Undercliff Road West, especially its changing rooms.

Suffolk Coastal's cabinet agreed that the money had to be spent and approved officers' suggestions of a timetable for the scheme.

The work will involve building a new reception area, family changing rooms, changing areas and toilets for people in wheelchairs, and putting new wall and floor surfaces in the current changing rooms along with better drainage.

In the pool hall, lighting will be replaced, the area redecorated, and safety improved with changes to help lifeguards see everyone more easily.

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It is planned to keep the centre open while most of the work takes place between September this year and March next year.

However, there will be a need to close for four to six weeks during this time to enable to machinery in the boiler room to be replaced.

Around 650,000 people use the building – which also has a gym, children's attraction, bowls hall, multi-purpose hall and bars – every year. Around 210,000 of these were swimmers but the figure has now fallen to around 180,000.

Director of planning and leisure Jeremy Schofield told the cabinet: "Recent user surveys have shown a decline in levels of customer satisfaction, and this is supported by the decline in participation numbers.

"If no improvements are made to this facility it is anticipated that participation levels will decline at an increasing rate."

This would mean a drop in income and extra costs for increased maintenance and cleaning of an ageing facility."

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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