THE council is planning to redevelop the swimming pools at Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre following issues that have kept them closed since December 2019.
The council said that a leading UK leisure facility developer has been assessing the problems with the pools is producing a feasibility report with costs and time frames.
The Council and leisure centre manager Wellbeing@Merthyr also known as Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust will then consult the community on the proposals which are also set to include a redevelopment of the nearby skate park.
The swimming pools closed in December 2019 due to a large number of tiles coming loose.
Over the following three months, the council commissioned a number of investigations into the causes of the problem.
When the Covid pandemic hit in March 2020, due to national lock downs, non-essential travel and the furlough of staff, the council said it was impossible to get specialists to come to Merthyr Tydfil to undertake further investigations.
During the lock down period, further issues were discovered – including a set of tiles “popping” from the bottom of the learner pool, indicating further structural issues.
Following extensive investigatory works, the council was told that moisture had become trapped within the concrete substructure.
As a result, it was decided that all tiles had to be removed from the three pools with an extensive period of drying out using industrial dryers over three to four months.
In July 2021, it was agreed that the council would lead on the redevelopment of the pools and skate park.
Specialist company Alliance Leisure was employed to carry out a full assessment of the wet side area, underfloor heating, changing rooms and skate park.
Alliance Leisure has examined issues with the pool tiles, concrete substructure, plant room, underfloor heating, balance tanks changing rooms and skate park and will soon present a full feasibility report.
Council leader Councillor Lisa Mytton said: “Unfortunately, there has been problem after problem with the swimming pools, which Alliance Leisure has investigated and is coming up with solutions to.
“We are working with Wellbeing@Merthyr and exploring a range of funding options which include grants and loan finance. As soon as we have confirmed these, we will let everyone know.”
Wellbeing@Merthyr chief executive Jane Sellwood said: “We are all hopeful now of speeding up the process and are looking forward to ending up with some much-improved facilities.”