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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 November, 2003, 13:31 GMT
Swansea Leisure Centre to shut
Swansea Leisure Centre
Swansea Leisure Centre has been closed for a fortnight
One of Wales' leading tourist attractions, the Swansea Leisure Centre, will be closed indefinitely because it needs 14m in repairs.

It seems likely to be the end for the 26-year-old building because city councillors have decided they cannot afford to spend the money.

The city will now look for a private partner to develop a 35m replacement, which would include a conference centre and concert hall which it hopes will attract top performers.

Councillors met on Thursday to examine the future of the centre, which attracts more than 750,000 people a year.

It had already been closed for the last fortnight and the council had been unable to say when it would reopen. Earlier estimates were that it would need 10m of repairs, but the council had budgeted for only 1.25m.

The new figure of 14m would include such work as replacing its three boilers, pipework and ventilation.

Swansea deputy council leader Robert Francis Davies said closure was a "big blow" but the local authority was "absolutely committed" to replacing it with a modern venue.

"It's not that major performers like Tom Jones and Kylie Minogue don't want to come to Swansea," said Mr Davies.

"It's just that we don't have a venue that can hold 2,000 or 3,000 spectators. This is our opportunity to have such a venue.

Silver Jubilee

"This is about the economic regeneration of the city centre. Conferences are becoming a major economic generator and in Swansea we have or are building a whole clutch of very high quality hotels.

"Together with a conference hall they could attract major events to the city. This will mean new jobs and investment coming into the city."

The centre, with its swimming pool complex, wave machine, hydro-slide and indoor bowls green, is regularly in the list of the top 10 visitor attractions in Wales.

It was opened by the Queen amid much fanfare in 1977, her Silver Jubilee year.

But a detailed structural survey undertaken in the last fortnight showed that millions of pounds would have had to be spent to bring the centre up to modern standards.

Swansea Council had considered asking the Welsh Assembly Government and other funding bodies for help in making up the financial shortfall for repairs.

While the centre is closed the council says it will try to redeploy staff and clubs which use it to other leisure centres in the city, and to relocate many of its facilities and equipment.




SEE ALSO:
Swansea leisure centre could shut
12 Nov 03  |  South West Wales
Leisure centre's future examined
22 Oct 03  |  South West Wales
Morfa Stadium gets go-ahead
06 Jun 03  |  South West Wales
City's 50m action plan
15 Apr 03  |  South West Wales


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