The swimming pool at Altrincham Leisure Centre will remain open throughout the construction of a new “state of the art” replacement centre, Trafford Council has confirmed.
Earlier this week the council’s Executive rubber-stamped plans for a new £22m leisure centre on the current Oldfield Road site.
The 44-year-old facility has been judged to be in such a poor condition that it was having a material impact on users.
The proposals for Altrincham’s £22m centre include a 25-metre pool and 25-metre leisure pool with a moveable floor, a 100-station fitness suite – which is twice the size of the existing facility – a six-court sports hall and squash courts.
There were fears that construction work could leave Altrincham without a municipal swimming pool, but today the council confirmed the existing swimming pool will be kept open during the works which are expected to take around 18 months.
The council said that the “positioning of the new pool affords swimming to be delivered throughout the construction phase, although it is accepted that this will cause logistical complications”.
It added: “The intention is to construct the new facility in place of part of the existing centre whilst maintaining operation of the residual swimming facilities thus maintaining some services and the school’s swimming programme.
“Logistical and buildability input from a contractor during this more complex approach and design phase will greatly assist the process.”
The centre is expected to open in 2022 on the site of the existing centre.
The council will now begin the process of finding a contractor and drawing up designs for the new centre.
Plans for a new £25m leisure centre in Stretford, part of the Civic Quarter Masterplan, were also approved, and that facility is expected to open in 2021 – and there are also plans to update the centres in Urmston and Sale.
The investment by the Council forms part of a borough-wide strategy to improve the health and wellbeing of residents by increasing levels of physical activity.
Consultations with residents in both Altrincham and Stretford will take place as part of the planning application for the two new centres which will be operated, like the current ones, by Trafford Leisure.
Cllr Kevin Procter, Executive Member for Communities and Housing, said: “This is fantastic news for the borough – two new state-of-the-art leisure centres. This is exactly what is needed in Trafford and will benefit tens of thousands of families.
“As a Council we are committed to creating opportunities for people to be active and stay healthy. We all know how important exercise is in preventing illness and improving wellbeing and happiness.
“This has a direct impact in reducing the growing burden on the health and social care system. These new centres will be life-changing for many people.”