£1m revamp plan for Walsall Gala Baths

Walsall | News | Published:

A new water flume, more play features and an expanded fitness suite could form part of a £1 million revamp of an outdated leisure centre, it emerged today.

A unisex changing area, competition pool and reduced depth of the main pool are also among a package of proposals drawn up for Walsall Gala Baths.

Walsall Council agreed to carry out a full cost review of investing in the Tower Street site. It came after a 2,000-name petition was submitted in support of the venue by campaigners who feared it could face closure.

Council bosses say the proposals are only suggestions at this stage as they would be subject to funding, at a time when they need to save £19m alone in the next financial year.

The ideas drawn up by officers include reducing the maximum depth of the main pool from 4.3m to 2m which would cut the costs of heating, electricity and water circulation. It would see the diving boards taken out.

Around £370,000 could be invested in replacing the male and female changing rooms with an improved unisex 'village' including sauna and steam rooms.

The fitness suite with 30 stations would rise to 50, increasing the number of members from 630 to more than a 1,000, generating an additional £51,000 a year.

A closed-tube flume running from the existing spectator seating has also been proposed for the main pool. And the smaller Brine Pool may be suitable for more play features including tipping buckets, showers, water wheels and interactive play panels.

Funding will need to be secured for the ambitious project.

Council leader Mike Bird said the authority had resolved to look at £1m improvements but they were just suggestions at this stage.

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