Urgent repair work needed at Wellingborough pool

Councillors will discuss the need for major repairs at a Wellingborough swimming pool tonight (Tuesday).

Tuesday, 20th December 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Saturday, 24th December 2016, 9:31 am
The Waendel Leisure Centre in Wellingborough
The Waendel Leisure Centre in Wellingborough

The pool at the Waendel Leisure Centre is on the agenda for Wellingborough Council’s full council meeting tonight.

Members will discuss the work required for the pool, which opened in 2007 and is operated by Places for People Leisure Ltd (PfP) on behalf of the council.

A report prepared for the meeting states: “The swimming pool at the Waendel Leisure Centre is in need of urgent major repair.

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“This report advises members of the need to re-line the pool tank and informs members of the planned refurbishment project.

“It also requests use of revenue reserves to cover any mitigations and compensation claims arising from loss of income over the closure period.”

The report says there have been ‘multiple instances’ of a clutch of tiles lifting from the floor of the main pool tank in the past two years.

While the patches have been dealt with to make it safe, the report says it is not sustainable longer term.

The report also says: “The only way to ensure the long term safety and availability of the pool is to re-line the whole main pool tank.

“This would mean the closure of the swimming pool for a number of weeks whilst work takes place, potentially in the region of 12 weeks, and if there are other unknown defects, up to 20 weeks.”

It has been suggested that the best time to close the pool would be next summer.

The closure would also provide an opportunity to carry out other repair and maintenance work at the centre relating to swimming, including replacement of the obsolete showers, which PfP will undertake to fit in with its operational requirements, and the general decoration and refurbishment of the swimming and changing areas.

While the pools would not be available for use during the closure, other facilities would not be affected and the gym offer and fitness classes would continue as usual.

The report says the company contracted to build the leisure centre, Gleeson Construction, has gone into liquidation so it is not possible to arrange for them to return to rectify the problems with the tiling in the swimming pool under any warranty.

There are also other known defects within the building which the council will have to initially use its own funds to rectify.

Further investigation is being undertaken to check whether any claims can be made against the original contractor for compensation which, if successful, will be used to retrospectively fund the works.

At tonight’s meeting, the council will be invited to:

a) note that capital funding will be drawn down from the agreed capital programme for 2017-18 for the refurbishment of the main swimming pool tank at Waendel Leisure Centre and other associated maintenance work

b) note that work will commence on the project to carry out the planned refurbishment of the swimming pool during summer 2017, subject to pool contractor availability

c) resolve to agree the officers’ recommendation of Option a) for changes to service delivery whilst the capital works are undertaken

d) resolve approval for up to £270,000 revenue funding drawn from reserves to be used to cover the cost of any mitigating actions and any compensation claims arising from loss of income of the contractor for the period of pool closure

Tonight’s meeting starts at 7pm in the council chamber at Swanspool House, Wellingborough.

To read the full report, click here