Splash down delayed

SWIMMERS looking forward to making a splash in a newly-refurbished pool were disappointed after teething problems meant its re-opening was cancelled.Suffolk Coastal council said today that it now hoped to re-open the new-look facilities at Felixstowe Leisure Centre tomorrow but warned swimmers to ring first to check.

SWIMMERS looking forward to making a splash in a newly-refurbished pool were disappointed after teething problems meant its re-opening was cancelled.

Suffolk Coastal council said today that it now hoped to re-open the new-look facilities at Felixstowe Leisure Centre tomorrow but warned swimmers to ring first to check.

Swimmers had been invited to try out the pool yesterday . It had been out of action for the past six weeks as part of an £860,000 refit.

A council spokesman blamed "technical problems" for the delay.

"Swimmers will now probably have to wait another couple of days while some teething problems are resolved," he said.

"Wednesday morning is now the target date for the pool to re-open, but people are asked to ring the leisure centre first to double check before leaving home."

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The work to the pools was ordered by councillors after they were told people were very unhappy at the state of the centre and without action swimmers who were already deserting the facility would continue do so at an even faster rate.

Work has included a spruce up for the pools hall with better lighting and decoration, plus a new boiler and disinfectation system. Safety has also been improved with changes to help lifeguards see everyone more easily.

The reception area at the centre - which attracts around 650,000 visitors a year and is the best-used council-run attraction in the district - has already been moved closer to the building's entrance.

The major refurbishment of the changing rooms will be completed on March 12 with unisex family changing and toilet facilities, improved changing and toilets for disabled people and their carers, plus improvements to the floor, walls and the overall design and layout of the main changing areas.

The changing rooms in the fitness suite at the centre in Undercliff Road West are also being altered to make them more accessible for disabled people.

The pool has lost around 30,000 swimmers a year in the past few years. The council is negotiating with a private company, which would take over the running of the pool and save taxpayers a considerable sum each year.

People can check if the pool is open by ringing 01394 670411.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

n What do you think of the council spending £860,000 of your money ready to hand Felixstowe's swimming pool over to a private company? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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