Councillor Jenny Harrison Published: Tuesday, 01st July 2014

Swimming facilities at Crompton Pool and Leisure Centre must close permanently due to spiralling repair costs at the ageing facility.

The centre was scheduled to close when the new Royton Leisure Centre opens in 2016 but urgent and costly repair works would now be required just to keep the pool open on a short-term basis.

The pool, which has been closed since the beginning of March, has already needed £40,000 worth of repairs since the decision to replace the facility was taken in March 2012.

The additional repairs now required – to replace the boiler – could cost up to a further £50,000 and would not alone guarantee that the pool would continue to be useable until the opening date of the new Royton facility.

In 2012 a building condition survey had also shown that the building would need up to £1.2 million of improvements to make it fit for use in the long term.

Oldham Council is now investigating the possibility of creating a new permanent ‘dry-side’ leisure offer for the people of Shaw at the nearby Lifelong Learning Centre.

Work to develop a business case for this will take place over the next three months. The local authority will work with Oldham Community Leisure and residents to establish what sort of facility could serve local people's leisure and learning needs.

All non-swimming facilities, including the gym, will continue to be provided from the Crompton Leisure Centre as normal while this option is investigated.

Councillor Jenny Harrison, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: "We have done everything possible to keep Crompton Pool open while the new swimming facilities are being built in Royton."

"Unfortunately the scale of the repair works now required means it is not possible to keep the pool open any longer  –  it is beyond economical repair.

"We know this is a disappointment to local people – particularly those who use the pool – and this has not been an easy decision.

"We will, however, now actively investigate how we could continue to provide other ‘dry side’ leisure facilities in Shaw by using the nearby Lifelong Learning Centre."

Stuart Lockwood, Chief Executive of Oldham Community Leisure which runs the facility for Oldham Council, said:

"Crompton Pool has already been closed for around seven weeks and we have managed to accommodate the vast majority of classes and lessons at our other facilities across the borough during that time.

"Although it is pity that we cannot reopen the pool the decision to investigate providing a dry-side local leisure offer in Shaw is a really good opportunity.

"We currently have 400 members who I’m sure would appreciate the chance to use facilities in Shaw as well as the brand new leisure centre due to open in Royton."

Information about all leisure facilities and options is available at the Oldham Community Leisure website at http://www.oclactive.co.uk/

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