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Wavelengths leisure pool set to reopen

Lewisham Council has confirmed that the leisure pool at Wavelengths will reopen later this year after major renovation works.

The Council has been looking into ways to keep the pool open in light of significant repair and maintenance costs, and is pleased to announce exciting new plans are being worked on that will see the leisure pool reopen, with beach-style seating areas and a range of inflatables and soft play to make the space even more family friendly.

To allow the pool to reopen in a way that is sustainable, the existing flumes will unfortunately need to be removed. These aging facilities have been regularly out of use due to repairs and the number of staff needed to safely run these facilities. Removing these facilities will save over £200,000 a year and will help to reduce the overall loss the Centre incurs.

Cllr Andre Bourne, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Leisure Centres, said: “Over the last couple of months we’ve been busy looking at ways we can keep a leisure pool at Wavelengths open, alongside the 25m pool, despite the serious financial challenges council-run leisure centres face.

“Local people have told us that they really value the leisure water at Wavelengths – so do we, and I’m pleased we’ve found a way to invest in it and keep it open. We want Wavelengths to be a local family attraction so families can really make the most of the centre again.

“I am of course disappointed we need to remove the existing flumes, but by doing so we can afford to keep the leisure pool open. I think that is the right decision and I can’t wait to take my own children to the pool when it reopens!

“This situation has shone a light on the incredibly difficult position council-run leisure centres are currently in. A combination of funding cuts, the impact of Covid-19 and the rise of budget gyms are making it increasingly challenging to run expensive facilities like swimming pools. However, we know how important they are and we are committed to doing everything we can to keep inclusive, accessible facilities like this open.

“As a Council we can only do so much with our ever-shrinking budgets and the increasing demand for vital services care. I’m determined to make Lewisham’s voice heard and I have written today to the Secretary of State, outlining the devastating position the Government’s funding decisions have put councils in and urging him to take action to ensure local swimming pools and other leisure facilities are properly funded for the long-term.”

Over the summer the leisure pool will undergo significant repairs needed because of its age and as a result of being out of use for so long during periods of lockdown. The work is estimated to cost about £770,000 and will be funded by a combination of the existing leisure budget and Section 106 contributions from developers.

Work will start immediately and is expected to take approximately 24 weeks to complete.

Work will also be undertaken to look into refurbishing the wave machine. If viable it is hoped this can be reintroduced before the summer holidays next year.

Work to retile the 25m swimming pool is due to be completed in the coming weeks, meaning the pool can reopen in late July ahead of the school summer holidays. Family activities will take place in the 25m pool while the leisure pool remains closed.

Find out more about Wavelengths leisure centre on the Better website.

Find out more about our leisure centres.

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