MORE than £5m will be spent on refurbishing Merthyr Tydfil leisure centre’s swimming pool and the nearby skate park.
Merthyr Tydfil council has announced that £5.3m from the Welsh Government will go towards redesigning the pool and relocating the skate park closer to the centre.
The council is working with international leisure facilities developer Alliance Leisure and business services company Red Start on the project.
Work is expected to begin on the pool before the end of the year and on the skate park next spring.
The swimming pool at Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre has been closed since December 2019 due to leaks affecting the concrete and causing tiles to lift off.
Early in 2020, the council commissioned a number of surveys to try to find the cause of the issue and then Wellbeing@Merthyr (Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust), which leases the centre from the council, revealed plans to potentially redevelop the entire leisure centre including the pools.
The coronavirus lockdown hampered the work and more structural issues were discovered, with more investigatory work needed than originally thought.
In July 2021, it was agreed that the council would lead on the redevelopment of the pools and skate park and now the funding has been secured from Welsh Government.
Councillor Geraint Thomas, leader of the council, said: “We understand and share people’s frustration about the delay in reopening the pool.
“But the refurbishment – which must also meet Welsh Government’s decarbonisations targets – could not be paid for by the council alone.
“Collectively, the redevelopment of the pool and changing rooms and brand new skate park will provide access to more modern facilities to help improve health and wellbeing, and will also attract new users.”
The council expects that all of the facilities will reopen next summer.
Cllr Thomas added: “We’re also grateful for the skate park funding as the current provision is no longer fit for purpose, and relocating it closer to the leisure centre will ensure a safer, better managed site.
“Our next steps will be to consult on the design for the new park, particularly with our young people.”