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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 May, 2004, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Leisure centre repair 'time bomb'
Leisure centre shower facilities
Peeling walls - this swimming pool at Ynysawdre near Bridgend
Millions of pounds needs to be spent to stop the "ticking time bomb" of repairs to leisure centres, a council leader has warned.

It is claimed millions of pounds are needed to modernise council-run facilities all over Wales.

Some say the situation is so serious that it could hamper attempts to improve the health of the nation.

The poor state of some local authority leisure centres is in contrast to the boom in private health clubs.

Councillor Jeff Jones, leader of Bridgend Council said: "It's a ticking time bomb. Many of these buildings were built 20 or 30 years ago and are coming to the end of their lives."

"In the last 20 years or so there has been little investment in maintenance in many areas and there needs to be a huge investment by local authorities to bring them up to standards for the 21st century," he said.

Private partner

Bridgend council is currently refurbishing the Garw Valley leisure centre at a cost of 750,000, with the help of an investment by Sportslot and the Welsh Assembly Government.

When it reopens in the autumn it will include new changing facilities, fitness suite and a refurbished sports hall.

Working out at a private health club
Council leaders say a huge investment is needed in leisure centres

The crumbling swimming pool at Ynysawdre is also being replaced at a cost of 3.4m.

Swansea leisure centre closed last November after it was revealed that 14m of repairs were needed.

It was opened in 1977 by The Queen, as part of her Silver Jubilee celebrations and was used by 750,000 people a year.

The council is looking for a private partner to develop a 35m replacement, which would include a conference centre and concert hall.

The local authority has, however, completed refurbishments at Morriston and Penyrheol leisure centres in recent months.

The Sports Council for Wales said that Sportlot had awarded nearly 27 million in capital funding since 1995, which included leisure centres, as well as artificial pitches, skate parks and kickabout areas.


SEE ALSO:
Leisure centre 'needs 14m' - report
23 Dec 03  |  South West Wales
Swansea Leisure Centre to shut
13 Nov 03  |  South West Wales
4.5m leisure centre unveiled
06 Jan 04  |  South West Wales
Sunbed ban could spread
06 Feb 04  |  North West Wales


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