Warning over swimming pool decline
UNLESS Felixstowe's swimming pool complex undergoes an £860,000 refurbishment this year, the numbers using it will decline at an increasing rate.Tourism bosses say the number of people swimming at the resort's seafront leisure centre is already falling.
UNLESS Felixstowe's swimming pool complex undergoes an £860,000 refurbishment this year, the numbers using it will decline at an increasing rate.
Tourism bosses say the number of people swimming at the resort's seafront leisure centre is already falling.
People are no longer as happy with the state of the building and its facilities as they used to be – and unless something is done immediately, confidence and satisfaction will reduce further and vital income will be lost.
Ideas are being looked at to cover the bowls hall in summer to enable extra activities to be tried, to provide a new modern water slide in the pools hall, create a health and beauty centre, and improve the catering.
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But these things will have to wait until improvements have been made to the areas causing the public most concern and leading them to swim elsewhere.
This will involve building a new reception area, family changing rooms, changing areas and toilets for people in wheelchairs, and new wall and floor surfaces in the current changing rooms along with better drainage.
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In the pool hall, lighting will be replaced, the area redecorated, and safety improved with changes to help lifeguards see everyone more easily.
It is planned to keep the centre in Undercliff Road West open while 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 machinery in the boiler room to be replaced.
Members of Suffolk Coastal's cabinet will be asked to approve the £859,000-worth of work at the council-owned complex on Tuesday January 21.
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.
In a report to councillors, director of planning and leisure Jeremy Schofield said: "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 the council would not be able to achieve its one per cent target in terms of increased participation and this in turn would have a detrimental effect on the levels of income generated.
"In addition, there would be additional costs for increased maintenance and cleaning of an ageing facility."