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Bid to splash out £1m on pools

PUBLISHED: 14:50 20 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 March 2010

PROGRESS is being made on a project to spend more than £1 million on improvements to public swimming pools in Felixstowe and Woodbridge.

The pools are used by hundreds of thousands of people every year but council officers say some parts of the buildings fall short when compared to more modern pools and need to be brought up to standard.

PROGRESS is being made on a project to spend more than £1 million on improvements to public swimming pools in Felixstowe and Woodbridge.

The pools are used by hundreds of thousands of people every year but council officers say some parts of the buildings fall short when compared to more modern pools and need to be brought up to standard.

Work at Deben Pools in Woodbridge is the priority, and a decision on how the scheme will be tackled will be made by councillors in November.

Pool owners Suffolk Coastal council plan to spend £400,000 on the facility in Station Road – and will apply to the National Lottery for a further £400,000.

The aim will be to refurbish those parts of the complex that have reached the end of their life, and improve other areas which are behind the times.

These include the changing rooms, which swimmers complain can be very cold at times, and the toilets.

An architect has already had a preliminary look at the pools and suggested a range of options, including demolishing the existing front of the complex and rebuilding it.

A report to the leisure and tourism committee on tomorrow says: "More detailed investigations are being carried out in order to determine the scope of the refurbishment, identify issues and consider alternative options and produce detailed costings.

"Apart from capital investment, it will be necessary to consider the revenue implications in terms of income and expenditure, as well as taking into consideration the closure period required in order to implement the refurbishment."

Meanwhile, preparatory work is underway for the refurbishment of Felixstowe Leisure Centre – though no work is likely to take place until late next year or early 2003.

It is estimated that around £300,000 will need to be spent on the resort's pools complex, mainly to improve the changing accommodation, after an assessment of the centre's weaknesses.

Temperature in the changing rooms varies from chilly to too hot, but there is also a need to create more space because changing is cramped, and put in family changing areas. Other work will include improving access for people with disabilities.

n There is also the possibility of further new recreational facilities at Felixstowe with talks underway between a number of bodies to explore again the possibility of providing a synthetic surface for a variety of sports and other activities.

Six years ago, permission was gained for a floodlit £300,000-plus 100 metres by 61m pitch at Orwell High School and a fundraising drive was launched, though the venture never came to fruition.

It was intended that the surface would be used by the community, as well as the school and Felixstowe Hockey Club.

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