Portsmouth councillors react to plans for £2.5m makeover of Pyramids leisure centre

COUNCILLORS from different parties have branded the loss of the popular swimming pool at the Pyramids centre 'a blow' - but are keen to see what its future holds.

Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 4:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 5:50 pm

Today Portsmouth City Council announced it is set to spend £2.5m on regenerating the Southsea venue - including a soft play and trampolines facility in place of the pool as well as a new gym and studios.

Labour Cllr Judith Smyth, who represents the St Jude ward where the centre is based, said: This is a good way to ensure the Pyramids will do well over the next eight to 10 years,' she said.

'I look forward to having a leading leisure centre and facilities in Southsea and I hope this will encourage children and young people - and people with special needs and disabilities - to use the site and enjoy the activities on offer.'

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Pyramids in Southsea which have re-opened under new management. Picture:Steve Reid 102444-32

Group leader of the Progressive Portsmouth People, Cllr Claire Udy, agreed. 'As a lifelong user of the Pyramids through swimming and gigging it's a given that I am quite sad to see the end of a Portsmouth institution,' she said.

Read More

Read More
Outrage as huge crowds filmed outside Portsmouth nightclub

'I am very impressed with the plans and think it'll be ever so popular. I have been assured about the swimming provision in the south of the city so I am satisfied.'

However, Tory councillor Luke Stubbs, who represents the neighbouring Eastney and Craneswater ward, had concerns. He said: 'It would be a real blow to lose it.

Caption: How the new soft play area in the Pyramids could look. Picture: House of Play.

'There are already numerous private sector gyms and so while gaining a larger gym is a positive, it's not that much of a positive. This is an iconic seafront site and it really needs something that is unique and which will pull people in.'

As part of the proposals it is also planned £350,000 will be invested into either the swimming pool at Eastney or new swimming facilities.

Cllr Stubbs added: 'As for the Eastney baths, my party has put forward budget amendments for a refurbishment, but we need to be realistic: it will never be anything other than a small pool catering to a small part of the population.

Caption: How the new soft play area in the Pyramids could look. Picture: House of Play.

'A bit of a tidy-up is not enough to replace the Pyramids.'

It is thought work to transform the ground floor of the Pyramids will begin this autumn.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Thank you for reading this story. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues.

The Pyramids is set to undergo a £2.5m makeover

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news and information online.

Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.