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Revamp of popular leisure centre receives £1million boost but faces delays of 3 months
THE long-awaited revamp of a popular leisure centre will be delayed by three months and require an additional £1million of funding.
Castle Point Council was splashing out £4.1million to revitalise Waterside Farm Leisure Centre, in Somnes Avenue, Canvey to enable the Seventies-built facility to stay open another 20 years.
The massive renovation, which was scheduled to finish in May next year, includes a new open-plan glass entrance, extensive interior redecoration, redesigned changing rooms, and a new community and conference hall.
However, the official re-opening of the facility has been delayed until August after inspectors discovered that the pool roof needed to be completely replaced rather than just repaired.
Asbestos has also been discovered in areas which were previously not thought to be a risk, and this will now need to be removed and disposed of safely.
The new roof will cost an additional £600,000 and the asbestos removal £200,000, with an additional £200,000 also set aside for minor interior work.
Deputy Leader of the council, Jeffrey Stanley, said: “This is a complex piece of engineering work that will need to be completed prior to any of the other planned pool works.
“Replacing the roof now means we won’t have to close the pool again to do the works in a few years time. But it will involve an extension to the refurbishment timescale with the centre opening next summer rather than in the spring.”
Plans to make the leisure centre more self efficient by installing a 65ft wind turbine have been scrapped after the project was not deemed cost-effective.
The wind turbine, which would be a sixth of the height of those found on a wind farm, would have saved £8,000 and cut carbon emissions by an estimated 12.6 tonnes a year.
Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independent Party, believes that most residents will be pleased with the changes.
He said: “We all welcome the improvements at Waterside but it’s just a shame that it’s going to take a bit longer.
“Most people weren’t looking forward to seeing that monstrosity of the wind turbine as soon as they come onto Canvey. I would now like to see us look into having solar panels there instead as nowadays they can produce power throughout summer and winter.”