Roof leak troubles spread at Sunderland’s £20million Aquatic Centre

Sunderland Aquatic Centre, which is home to a 50 metre pool.
Sunderland Aquatic Centre, which is home to a 50 metre pool.

Leaks which will lead to the closure of Sunderland’s flagship swimming pool have now spread to other areas of the £20million building.

Work on Sunderland Aquatic Centre is due to start later this year and continue into 2019, with the repairs to take between six and nine months.

Sunderland Aquatic Centre opened in April 2008.

Sunderland Aquatic Centre opened in April 2008.

Sunderland City Council, which owns the Stadium Park venue, had previously said the roof above the Olympic-sized pool would need to be fixed, leading to a closure of that facility while the work is carried out.

Now it has said other areas of the building - opened less than a decade ago - will also need to undergo work to seal off leaks.

They include the gym, plant room and the exercise studios overlooking the pool.

Visitors have reported buckets being used to catch drips from the ceilings in those areas, with classes continuing around the containers, while they have also been used in the poolside spectator area.

The council is currently in the process of procuring the technical support and construction contractor required to carry out the remedial works that are expected to be complete sometime in 2019.

Councillor Mel Speding

The council has told the Echo that it is anticipated that some facilities, including the gym, can remain open while the work is being carried out, but that is subject to further confirmation.

However, it has said it is not feasible for the pool to remain open.

Legal proceedings in respect of the repairs are ongoing.

Cabinet secretary, Councillor Mel Speding said: “The council is currently in the process of procuring the technical support and construction contractor required to carry out the remedial works that are expected to be complete sometime in 2019.

Councillor Mel Speding.

Councillor Mel Speding.

“The primary purpose of the remedial works is to remedy defects in the roof construction; the finer detail and specification of the works is yet to be discussed and agreed.”

The centre is home to City of Sunderland Amateur Swimming Club, which has almost 200 members and trains Paralympic gold medal winners Matt Wylie and Josef Craig, and has gala dates booked until the summer.

It also hosts a dive team run by the venue, a water polo club and also hosts exercise classes and children’s soft play.

The council’s leisure centres are run on its behalf by Everyone Active.

The Olympic-sized pool inside Sunderland Aquatic Centre.

The Olympic-sized pool inside Sunderland Aquatic Centre.

Steve Dougal, Everyone Active’s general manager said: “We are working with Sunderland City Council to outline the details of the remedial works that will be carried out at the Sunderland Aquatic Centre.

“Both the Council and Everyone Active will make it a priority to notify all colleagues, partners and members about any changes that will affect them.”