THE MASSIVE revamp of Malvern Splash will now happen sooner than expected.
Malvern Hill District Council has confirmed the £2million redevlopment will be completed quicker because the Coronavirus lockdown measures have meant the centre has been closed from March 20.
And, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing indoor gyms and swimming pools must remain closed until further notice, the council has taken advantage of the delay to alter the project timetable.
Work is now expected to start at the end of August – once a contractor has been appointed at the end of July – instead of in October as originally planned.
The project – which involves full refurbishment of the swimming pool changing rooms, including dedicated changing facilities for people with disabilities and additional family changing areas – should be completed in December, two months ahead of schedule.
There will also be a new interactive water play feature for younger swimmers, underwater lighting and PA system, a new flume and a new wave machine to enhance the experience for swimmers.
The pool side area itself will also be revamped.
A new UV filtration system has already been installed that will improve water quality and lower levels of chlorine.
A range of environmental measures including more energy efficient pumps, boilers and LED lighting have been installed while the centre has been closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The main project also includes the installation of energy efficient glazing and solar panels.
The timetable change means when the centre is eventually allowed to reopen, the swimming pool will be unavailable.
This will avoid the potential disruption caused by having to reopen and then close again shortly after.
The sauna/steam rooms are also being permanently removed as usage was low and social distancing rules, which are likely to be around for some time, will make them difficult to operate.
They were also expensive to maintain and removing them will free up money to be reinvested into the centre.
Freedom Leisure, which runs the district’s leisure centres on behalf of the council, continue to work hard to get Malvern Splash, Sport Dyson Perrins and Sport Martley ready for when the centre can reopen.
The team has put a range of measures in place so customers can enjoy the benefits of exercise, while still observing social distancing rules.
These include spacing out of gym equipment and reduced capacity within exercise classes to give everyone more room.
An enhanced cleaning regime will be in place, hand sanitiser will be available throughout the centres and drinking fountains will be unavailable.
Freedom Leisure Managing Director Ivan Horsfall Turner said: “We are delighted that the investment into improving the swimming pool is happening now and we look forward to providing what will be a greatly enhanced swimming experience for all the residents of Malvern.”
Malvern District Council leader Coun Sarah Rouse said: “I’m delighted to confirm our commitment to delivering this £2million scheme which will deliver first class facilities for residents.
“We know some people may be disappointed they have to wait a while longer to enjoy a swim, but the revised timetable will minimise disruption meaning people will be able to enjoy the benefits of this significant investment much earlier than planned.”