Friday, 26 March 2010

Free swimmers making a splash as Scott Hall pool gets ready to reopen


Caption: Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Cllr John Procter (left) and Sport England Free Swimming Development Manager Dave Mitchinson (right) looking at the work being carried out at Scott Hall

Free swimmers making a splash as Scott Hall pool gets ready to reopen
The swimming pool at Scott Hall Leisure Centre in Leeds is to reopen next month following the completion of a major £500,000 improvement project.

The pool will reopen on Monday 12th April after being closed since November to allow for a complete overhaul of the changing room areas. The changes have seen the creation of a modern ‘changing village’ along with dedicated group changing rooms ideal for use by school classes and large groups. There are also larger family changing rooms, a changing room for customers with disabilities, lockers for storage and a new heating and ventilation system has also been installed.

Poolside itself has also seen improvements, with an innovative new sound and light system installed to allow for lighting and music to be used to create the perfect ambience for users from the excitement of children’s parties to more relaxed sessions for older people. This system has also been put in place at Pudsey and John Smeaton leisure centres and will be operational for the first time in the coming weeks.

The major refurbishment at Scott Hall follows other improvements carried out last year as the Bodyline gym was extended and upgraded in November with a one-third increase in the exercise equipment available and a new sound system and televisions also put in place.

The improvements at Scott Hall, Pudsey and John Smeaton have been funded by Leeds City Council and Sport England through the national free swimming programme which has proved highly successful in Leeds.

In the first year of the programme which has offered free swimming for anyone 16 and under and 60 and over to encourage people to be more physically active in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics, Leeds has seen the second-highest number of free swims taken up out of all the towns and cities taking part across the country.

In total there have been over 290,000 swimming sessions enjoyed for free by people in the two age groups in Leeds, with junior swimming in particular up by an impressive 34 per cent compared to the previous 12 months, while in the 60 and over age range the number of swimming sessions enjoyed in Leeds is 12 per cent above the national average.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter
said:

“We are delighted with both the success of our free swimming programme in Leeds and that the pool at Scott Hall Leisure Centre will very soon be open again for even more people to go for a swim.

“We thank everyone for their patience while the pool has been closed, but we think customers will appreciate the improvements that have been carried out. As a council we are committed to providing the best fitness facilities we can to help people of all ages be physically active, and the upgrades at Scott Hall are part of an ongoing citywide programme to help us achieve that.”

Sport England Free Swimming Development Manager Dave Mitchinson said:

“Sport England firmly believe that investments like Scott Hall are an excellent example of what can be achieved by joint working and will further compliment the ongoing investments being made by Leeds City Council to its swimming and general leisure facilities.”

For more information on what’s on offer at Scott Hall Leisure Centre, call 0113 262 4721 or for full details on free swimming in Leeds visit www.leeds.gov.uk and search for ‘free swimming’.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk