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Approval for pool improvements

PUBLISHED: 02:30 30 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 March 2010

A MAJOR improvement programme costing £550,000 has been approved for the public swimming pool in Woodbridge.

It is hoped the seven-month refurbishment project for the Deben Pool, Station Road, will take place from next September to give swimmers a greatly improved facility and to stop them seeking private pools.

A MAJOR improvement programme costing £550,000 has been approved for the public swimming pool in Woodbridge.

It is hoped the seven-month refurbishment project for the Deben Pool, Station Road, will take place from next September to give swimmers a greatly improved facility and to stop them seeking private pools.

However, the cost of the improvements has soared by nearly £150,000 since the original estimate was made because extra finance is required to install temporary changing facilities and to create permanent access for the disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act.

The cost of refurbishing the changing rooms, reception area and putting in a bigger fitness area is £408,700 with a further £140,100 required for the temporary changing and the disabled access.

The pool was built as an outdoor swimming pool in 1973 with funds raised mainly through public subscription. Suffolk Coastal District Council became owners a year later and it has made various improvements including the installation of a roof.

But customers are unhappy with many of the facilities and they have said that the changing rooms are too cold with puddles on the floor, the shower temperatures are inconsistent, the drains smell and there is poor ventilation. They are unhappy with the poor quality of the decoration and pool staff have warned that it is difficult to maintain high standards of cleanliness in the changing facilities.

There are approximately 133,000 swims a year at the pool including the use by schools, clubs, swimming lessons and casual swimming. But a report for the Leisure and Tourism Committee warned that usage of the pool would fall to 115,500 visits in 2006/7 if no improvements were made and the councillors decided to go ahead with the project.

The refurbishment programme includes improved car parking for people with disabilities, the relocation of changing areas and the fitness suite, the replacement of the foul water drainage systems and mains water supply and upgrading hot water services.

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