Pyramids returns to action in Portsmouth

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IT’S been shut for eight months but finally the Pyramids Centre has reopened – and hundreds of happy children have made their way through its doors already.

The centre in Southsea had been closed since February following flood damage which destroyed equipment and ruined the venue’s electricity supply.

142813_PYRAMIDS_27/9/14''Nick Gillman, Riley Gillman (5), Helen Bennett and Ethan McNeill (2).''First customers at the newly refurbished and opened Pyramids, Southsea.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142813-880) PPP-140928-105636003

142813_PYRAMIDS_27/9/14''Nick Gillman, Riley Gillman (5), Helen Bennett and Ethan McNeill (2).''First customers at the newly refurbished and opened Pyramids, Southsea.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142813-880) PPP-140928-105636003

It meant the pool and other facilities like the gym, cafe and function room were out of action.

But on Saturday it finally reopened to the public and more than 500 people went for a swim. More than 125 gym inductions were also completed on Saturday alone.

Ivor Phillips, 55, from Havant brought along his 10-year-old daughter Amy.

He said: ‘Amy has grown up here. We used to come here every Saturday.

142813_PYRAMIDS_27/9/14''Ivor Phillips and his daughter Amy Phillips (10). ''First customers at the newly refurbished and opened Pyramids, Southsea.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142813-858) PPP-140928-105604003

142813_PYRAMIDS_27/9/14''Ivor Phillips and his daughter Amy Phillips (10). ''First customers at the newly refurbished and opened Pyramids, Southsea.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142813-858) PPP-140928-105604003

‘It’s really good now. They have changed it a lot. It’s great for the kids. It’s good with the music in the background.

‘This means a lot – there is nothing else like this in Portsmouth at all.’

Amy added: ‘It’s better than it was before. It’s good and it’s fun. I’m really glad it’s open.’

Cherie Lale, 35, took her 14-year-old son Frankie.

142813_PYRAMIDS_27/9/14''First customers at the newly refurbished and opened Pyramids, Southsea.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142813-867) PPP-140928-105614003

142813_PYRAMIDS_27/9/14''First customers at the newly refurbished and opened Pyramids, Southsea.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142813-867) PPP-140928-105614003

She said: ‘It’s my son’s favourite place to go. He’s autistic. He’s been waiting for months to go, he loves it here.

‘We will be here every week now. We’ve always come here –but it’s much better now.’

As part of the refurbishment, the plant room has now been completely refurbished, the centre has been dried out and new boilers have been fitted.

Mike Lyons is the director of BH Live, the firm that runs the Pyramids.

142813_PYRAMIDS_27/9/14''First customers at the newly refurbished and opened Pyramids, Southsea.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142813-873) PPP-140928-105625003

142813_PYRAMIDS_27/9/14''First customers at the newly refurbished and opened Pyramids, Southsea.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142813-873) PPP-140928-105625003

He said: ‘It’s fantastic news that the building is back open.

‘It’s much improved for the people of Portsmouth.

‘It’s been great to see little ones leaving the building with big smiles on their faces.

‘The feedback from the children and families has been fantastic. We’ve had a steady flow of customers. We are really encouraged and hopefully it will continue to increase.’

142813_PYRAMIDS_27/9/14''Beaux Channing (9) Linda Gomery, Neo Channing (12).''First customers at the newly refurbished and opened Pyramids, Southsea.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142813-908) PPP-140928-105658003

142813_PYRAMIDS_27/9/14''Beaux Channing (9) Linda Gomery, Neo Channing (12).''First customers at the newly refurbished and opened Pyramids, Southsea.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142813-908) PPP-140928-105658003