Buxton swimming pool prepares to reopen almost 15 months behind schedule

Buxton Swimming Pool is out of use for a second Christmas and still no official word as to when it will reopen
Buxton Swimming Pool is out of use for a second Christmas and still no official word as to when it will reopen

Buxton’s revitalised Swimming Pool will finally reopen to the public on August 1 – nearly 15 months later than planned.

Closed back in November 2009 - originally for six months - the massive project has been hit by various problems and difficulties causing numerous delays and setbacks.

Now the end is in sight with the newly-built state-of-the-art fitness gym, adjacent to the pool, also set to open.

Councillor Anthony McKeown, Executive Member for Community Services, said he was confident that customers would consider the new facilities well worth the wait.

He said he was pleased that the pool would be open for all but the first week of the school summer holidays.

The new-look facilities incorporate a modern changing village plus a new roof and windows as well as a sleek foyer and reception area.

The extensive changes also include a new viewing area, a new lift access to the upper floor, a refurbished studio/activity room and new plant and machinery.

“The refurbishment of the pool and construction of the fitness gym show that we’re continuing to invest in our communities and in promoting healthy lifestyles at a time when many councils are cutting back on leisure facilities,” said Cllr McKeown.

Contractors returned the building to High Peak Borough Council and its leisure partner, DC Leisure, on Monday (July 11).

Cllr McKeown added that plans were now being drawn for a public open day at which customers would be able to see and use the new facilities.

An official opening ceremony is now being planned, together with a package of significant financial support for Buxton Swimming Club as it re-establishes itself in the town. Support will include subsidised use of the pool for a period to be determined.

Council leader Caitlin Bisknell thanked swimmers for their patience during a difficult project that had taken far longer than anyone would have hoped.

She promised a post-project review that would pinpoint why work had taken so long and would ensure that lessons were learned before other major capital projects began.

She did point out, however, that the complete modernisation of the early-1970s pool building had posed considerable challenges – some of which it would have been impossible to foresee before work started.

The time between completion of construction work and reopening of the building is being used by the council and DC Leisure for staff training and to iron out any minor post-construction problems.

The delays and problems encountered with the project have been highlighted regularly in the Buxton Advertiser.

The opening was first put back from Easter 2010 to June and then September.

It had been hoped the pool would reopen this Spring.

Problems encountered with the project included badly corroded internal steelwork and unanticipated damage to the roof.