Pyramids leisure centre in Southsea set for a £2.5m makeover - but swimming pool will go
A 'MUCH loved' city leisure centre is set to receive a £2.5m makeover next year including a state-of-the-art gym and trampoline and soft play park.
Plans have been unveiled to replace the swimming pool at the 'iconic' Pyramids centre on Southsea seafront with a children's play and bounce facility, made up of soft play, climbing and trampolines.
The upstairs plaza gig space in the centre will also be re-purposed into a brand new gym, with the existing gym regenerated into specialist studios for classes such as spin.
It comes as the site, which is run by BH Live on behalf of Portsmouth City Council, in its current state was losing the council around £650,000 a year mainly due to the high maintenance costs of the pool and declining interest in the facilities.
Councillor Steve Pitt, the council's leisure boss, said: 'The pandemic has made it more important than ever to invest in sport and leisure and get more people active.
'We are convinced that BH Live's exciting new plans will see more residents and visitors of all ages use the Pyramids centre to get active and have fun, helping to secure the future of our iconic seafront venue.'
As previously reported the council had already agreed to invest £1.5m into the site last year. But under the new proposals it is thought the centre will be 'future-proofed' for at least 10 years.
Cllr Pitt added: 'We're committed to providing fantastic sport and leisure facilities across the city for all residents to access for generations to come, this is at the heart of all decisions and we'll keep everyone informed as any plans develop.'
It is planned the new play and bounce facility will be ready to open in spring 2021 with work expected to be carried out in phases to minimise impact. And the new gym in the plaza is planned to be completed next summer.
The centre’s gym, exercise studio and glasshouse event space will remain open throughout.
It is also hoped the new facilities will be more accessible to people with physical and learning disabilities.
Chris Symons, the chief executive of BH Live, said: 'These proposed plans would give our community a brand new attraction that is appealing, sustainable, and more importantly, great fun and accessible to all.'
The remaining funding needed to pay for the renovation will come from cash already set aside for other leisure projects in the city that have had to be postponed due to the pandemic - such as the Kings Theatre refurbishment.
And £350,000 funding will be committed to improve swimming facilities in the south east of the city - either to maintain Eastney Swimming Pool or develop new facilities in the same area.
BH Live has confirmed no admission or membership costs will increase as a result and that Covid safety measures will be in place next year if required.