A new Leisure World?

Leisure World. The council have launched a new scheme to give free swim swipe cards to adults and kids who are learning how to swim. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120812d 20/02/12
Leisure World. The council have launched a new scheme to give free swim swipe cards to adults and kids who are learning how to swim. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120812d 20/02/12

LEISURE World could close for more than a year to undergo a massive revamp – or be replaced altogether with a brand new centre.

The future of the seafront swimming pool and gym in Bridlington is under investigation by council bosses as part of a scheme to improve leisure facilities in the town.

Meetings about the scheme have already been held with groups using the venue, and it is believed staff have been told the venue will close in September 2013 – possibly for up to 18 months – for the work to begin.

But East Riding of Yorkshire Council is staying tight-lipped over what specific plans it has made for the venue.

A council spokesman could only confirm: “A commitment has been made within the council’s capital programme to invest in a replacement facility that will meet the town’s future needs.

“The council is now consulting with users and is at the early stages of developing options for new facilities.

“Information events will be organised at appropriate stages throughout the – continued on Page 3

delivery of the project to ensure that residents and leisure centre users can provide their views and keep up to date with progress.”

As yet, it is unclear whether any new facility would be built on the existing Leisure World site, or elsewehere in town.

If Leisure World was to close, it is thought that regular classes and gym activities would transfer to Bridlington Sports Centre in Gypsey Road.

However, as Leisure World is Bridlington’s only council-run swimming pool, it could leave swimmers with a 30-minute drive to Driffield to use a pool run by the authority – or having to pay to use other private pools around the town – unless a temporary replacement was found.

Paul Nicholson, chairman of Bridlington Swimming Club, confirmed that a meeting between the club and the council took place last month, where they discussed the town’s need for a pool - both for the club’s swimmers and other users, such as children taking part in swimming lessons.

Mr Nicholson said: “The one thing that we took from the meeting with the council was a willingness to work with us, to try and stop disruptions as much as they could.

“Obviously it would be better if there were no disruptions, but we took the impression that our views were being taken on board.”

The club, which has around 60-65 members, would need to find a temporary home if Leisure World is to close, with a temporary pool believed to be “one of the options in the mix”.

“Obviously, if the site is closed we would need to move somewhere else, wherever that would be.

“It’s a good thing that those who use the centre are being consulted as it would be a disaster if groups went elsewhere before a new facility was finished.”

Leisure World was opened with a fanfare by HRH The Duchess of Kent on April 3 1987, revamping the Three B’s theatre and replacing the town’s old sea front swimming pool building.

In November 2001, a £110,000 refurbishment was carried out at the facility which saw the pool closed for two months while improvements to the changing rooms were made.

An £8.5m facelift for the centre was proposed by the council in 2005, which could have seen the facility rebuilt on it’s present site, or tied in with a proposed marina.