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25 July 2020 06:33

London Swimming Championship

Staff at Plymouth Life Centre were outraged that they had to find out the centre would be closing via a post on Facebook yesterday (July 23). One employee said she burst into tears after seeing the post where Plymouth City Council confirmed the Plymouth Life Centre would not be reopening until April 2021. But yesterday the council announced the centre would not be opening until next year, due to "urgent works" being carried out inside the building. Plymouth Life Centre took to Facebook to deliver the news, but hadn't yet informed staff members of the closure. "We regret to inform you that, following confirmation from Plymouth City Council, the Plymouth Life Centre will unfortunately remain closed until April 2021, while urgent works are carried out within the building.

"There have been a number of issues requiring works over the last eight years, including ongoing water leaks in certain parts of the building. "During the last few months further surveys and investigations by the Council and Balfour Beatty, who constructed the facility, have confirmed that major works are needed to rectify these issues. "The works will involve stripping the pool surround and changing areas back to the base concrete before relaying them with new waterproof layers. He said: "Whilst we fully support Plymouth City Council's decision to carry out the essential remedial works so we can protect the long-term future of the centre, we are extremely disappointed about the closure of Plymouth Life Centre. "The agreement to close the Life Centre was confirmed by the Council on Wednesday 23rd July, following their recent surveys and investigations alongside Balfour Beatty, who constructed the facility.

Plymouth City Council says the Life Centre has faced various issues requiring building work over the last eight years, including ongoing water leaks. But recent investigations by council officers and representatives from Balfour Beatty, which constructed the building, have shown the extent to which repair works are needed to rectify major issues. A spokesperson for Plymouth City Council said the much-needed repair works involve stripping the pool and changing areas "back to the base concrete" and relaying them with new waterproof layers. Deputy council leader, Peter Smith said: "We're obviously very disappointed not to be able to reopen the Life Centre later this month. "While the centre has been closed we've been able to do some more detailed investigation and survey work and the fact is we are looking at some issues that need to be sorted out as soon as possible.

"If we don't carry out these essential repairs the issues will just get worse and ultimately put the long-term future of the building at risk." Mr Smith says the Council has "explored all options" but a partial closure would add time and cost to the building works, and is therefore not an appropriate alternative. He said: "We have a duty to the people of Plymouth to give them the first-class facility they deserve and one they can continue to enjoy for many years to come. "We know the huge inconvenience this will cause, which is why we have explored all options to get the work done in the shortest possible time-frame. "We want to get in, get the work done and get the centre open again so that people can get back to the sports and activities they enjoy. "The closure will clearly impact on our aquatics programmes but both British Swimming and Swim England are supportive of the works, which will improve the facility for swimmers and divers and help to secure the future of these sports in Plymouth." However, Plymouth's Life Centre, host to notable club Plymouth Leander, will not open until at least April 2021. Per Radio Plymouth, there have been a number of issues requiring works over the last eight years, including ongoing water leaks in certain parts of the building. Walls, ceilings, fixtures and fittings and several other facility components need to be repaired, resulting in the April 2021 open estimation. "We know the huge inconvenience this will cause, which is why we have explored all options to get the work done in the shortest possible timeframe. A partial closure – trying to keep restricted areas open around the works – would add significant time and cost to the programme and be an unpleasant, disruptive and noisy experience for centre users. "We want to get in, get the work done and get the centre open again so that people can get back to the sports and activities they enjoy. "The closure will clearly impact on our aquatics programmes but both British Swimming and Swim England are supportive of the works, which will improve the facility for swimmers and divers and help to secure the future of these sports in Plymouth." "As a regular host of British Swimming and Swim England events, the Plymouth Life Centre provides the stage for memorable moments for our athletes, coaches, support staff, supporters and all involved in aquatics sports. "We understand the impact that this closure will have on both the aquatics community of Plymouth and the general public who use the facilities and work in them – but we are sure the imminent improvements will help transform the Life Centre and provide positive, long-term benefits for the swimmers and divers who come through it. "All at British Swimming and Swim England hope it is not long before exciting events like the British Diving Championships are taking place at the Life Centre once more, and we look forward to that time. In the meantime, both British Swimming and Swim England will work with Plymouth City Council to find ways to ensure diving and swimming continue to flourish in Plymouth." Plymouth's Life Centre will stay closed until April 2021 due to 'massive building faults' which need to be urgently repaired. The city council says 'a number of issues' have developed since the centre opened eight years ago, including water leaks. Peter Smith, deputy council leader, said: "We're obviously very disappointed not to be able to reopen the Life Centre later this month. "While the centre has been closed we've been able to do some more detailed investigation and survey work and the fact is we are looking at some issues that need to be sorted out as soon as possible. "If we don't carry out these essential repairs the issues will just get worse and ultimately put the long-term future of the building at risk. We have a duty to the people of Plymouth to give them the first-class facility they deserve and one they can continue to enjoy for many years to come. "We appreciate the patience of the public and the local community at this time and will continue to work in close collaboration with Plymouth City Council to ensure these works cause as little disruption as possible."