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Life on the up at the Pyramids after storm

The Pyramids Centre is due to reopen at the weekend

The Pyramids Centre is due to reopen at the weekend

 

THE Pyramids Centre is getting back on its feet after being battered in a storm earlier this year.

Southsea’s leisure complex has been closed since February after torrential weather destroyed mechanical and electrical plant room equipment.

Portsmouth City Council and BH Live, which manages the attraction on behalf of the authority, have been working together to get it back open to the public.

The full cost of repairs has yet to be revealed.

Now BH Live has confirmed that a boxing match will be going ahead on Saturday, marking The Pyramids’ return to the spotlight.

The pool and other leisure facilities are expected to open in September and dates will be announced soon, and a new entertainment programme is also coming up.

Richard Neale, divisional general manager at The Pyramids Centre, said: ‘We are pleased that events at Pyramids are to begin again this weekend, and thanks go out to our customers and the local community who have supported us while repairs and improvements have been under way.’

Councillor Donna Jones, Tory leader of Portsmouth City Council, said that while the news was encouraging, work still needed to be done and she is eager to see the venue turning a profit.

She warned that if evidence is not shown that public money is being spent wisely in the coming years, the contract with BH Live would have to be reviewed.

A deal was agreed last year that BH Live would be given £200,000 over the course of a five-year contract from the council to help run the business.

But that does not take into account maintenance bills and if unpredictable things happen such as if the pool springs a leak.

Cllr Jones said: ‘It is really encouraging that there is a public event taking place at The Pyramids this weekend.

‘It’s a key site along the seafront and has the potential to be a really strong tourist attraction.

‘But the premises is still costing taxpayers a huge amount of money, and to ensure its own viability it needs to turn a profit and not be reliant on a public subsidy.

‘Because if it doesn’t we will have to take a view on its long-term viability.’

But Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Lib Dem group leader, argued The Pyramids has never made a profit, and depends on public money to keep it going.

‘It’s unlikely to ever make money,’ he said.

‘Swimming pools just don’t make profits, but it’s a facility that local people want. The Guildhall makes a loss of £500,000 a year, and if it wasn’t subsidised by the taxpayer, it would shut.

 

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