School swimming sessions for hundreds of youngsters in Cannock are being hastily relocated following further delays to the opening of the district’s flagship new pool, it emerged today.
The Chase Leisure Centre pool will not open until December at the earliest - four months later than originally planned. Contractor GF Tomlinson had hoped emergency repairs at the 25-metre pool would be completed by the end of October, but has been forced to admit defeat.
The latest setback means parents who pay for their children’s lessons by direct debit will not have any money taken from their accounts in November, the second successive month payments have been cancelled.
However bosses who run the revamped building are trying to ensure sessions in school time can go ahead elsewhere. Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, which took over the running of leisure services in Cannock from the council this year, is contacting schools with pools in the district and will make an announcement when an arrangement is struck.
Councillor Christine Mitchell, culture and sport leader at Cannock Chase Council, said: “I can understand people’s frustrations that the pool is still not open for them to use.
“I am extremely disappointed that the problems with the pool have not been fixed yet but I can reassure everyone that everything is being done to get the pool open.
“Unfortunately, the remedial works are proving more difficult than anticipated and it is not possible to give a date when the pool may be open.”
Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust spokesman David Taylor said: “Letters are currently being sent out to update our swimming lesson customers and to explain that their direct debit payments for swimming lessons will not be taken out in November.”
The revamped competition-standard pool is the jewel in the crown of the Stafford Road leisure centre’s £6.5million refurbishment. It should have opened on August 8 after a 16-month shutdown but hit last-minute technical problems.
The difficulties came to light when workmen heated the filled pool and found that the expansion caused by the rise in temperature put stress on the joints, resulting in cracks.