Swimming pool set to re-open after refurbishment and upgrade plans
Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter
Merthyr Tydfil leisure centre’s swimming pool which has been closed for more than two years could be open again by this winter.
It follows a council request for support on costs from Welsh Government for the more than £3m redevelopment project.
The council is working with international leisure facilities developer Alliance Leisure and Capita to redesign the pool, with decarbonisation plans included in the application for a financial package towards the £3.2m refurbishment which also includes work on the nearby skate park.
Contractors will soon be on site to start preparatory work, with the new facility scheduled for reopening in the winter.
The design will include keeping both the main and learner pools, a new leisure pool and work on the changing rooms.
Council leader Councillor Lisa Mytton said: “Obviously, like all our residents, we want to see progress in the reopening of the pools.
“The costs of the redevelopment – which must also take in to account Welsh Government’s decarbonisation targets – is substantial, and we’ll need funding to offset it.”
The swimming pools closed in December 2019 due to a large number of tiles coming loose. Over the following three months, the council commissioned a number of investigations into the causes of the problem.
When the Covid pandemic hit in March 2020, due to national lockdowns, non-essential travel and the furloughing of staff, it was impossible to get specialists to come to Merthyr Tydfil to undertake further investigations, the council said.
During the lockdown period, further issues were discovered – including a set of tiles ‘popping’ from the bottom of the learner pool, hinting at further structural issues.
Following investigatory works, the council was told that moisture had become trapped within the concrete substructure.
As a result, it was decided that all tiles had to be removed from the three pools with an extensive period of drying out using industrial dryers over three to four months.
In July 2021, it was agreed that the council would lead on the redevelopment of the pools and skate park.
Specialist company Alliance Leisure was employed to carry out a full assessment of the wet side area, underfloor heating, changing rooms and skate park.
Alliance Leisure then examined issues with the pool tiles, concrete substructure, plant room, underfloor heating, balance tanks changing rooms and skate park.
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