Fears raised over cost of pool closure

CLOSED The main pool at the Pyramids is shut for maintenance
CLOSED The main pool at the Pyramids is shut for maintenance
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FEARS have been raised over the cost of the closure of the swimming pool at Portsmouth’s Pyramids Centre.

Public swimming has been halted at the venue in Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, while new valves are fitted to pumps on the wave pool.

The splash and fun pools for children will stay open – but only for swimming lessons – while the essential maintenance work is carried out.

A statement released by The Pyramids said the work was being done following one of its busiest summer seasons ever, which saw a 24 per cent jump in visitor numbers.

Though the pool is expected to reopen within the next couple of weeks, Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock is concerned about the financial impact in the meantime.

As previously reported in The News, Portsmouth City Council has decided to give the centre’s operator Southsea Community Leisure Limited (SCLL) an extra £500,000 and a further eight months in charge to improve what’s on offer, despite a damning audit report of the company.

Mr Hancock said: ‘Anything that takes a facility out of use is a concern, and any obstruction to the Pyramids Centre is bad because it needs to take in as much money as it can.’

Mr Hancock added that the council had still made the right decision investing money into The Pyramids because it is popular with residents.

A survey to ask people if they want to keep the Pyramids Centre has also been proposed following its controversial bailout.

SCLL’s new chief executive Tim Herman said: ‘We’re hoping to reopen the wave pool within the next couple of weeks.

‘This is not linked to any financial problem. The work is part of essential maintenance following one of our busiest seasons ever. I am very confident that the long-term future of The Pyramids is safe because what it has shown over the last eight to 12 months is an increase in membership. The Pyramids is a landmark and has huge potential.’