A DIVING ban that lasted more than six months at Sunderland’s multimillion pound Aquatic Centre is finally to end.
Frustrated visitors were prevented from using the diving boards due to an ongoing issue with the pool’s moveable floor.
But councillors have now been told that the service will resume, though not all the diving boards will be in use again yet.
From Monday, visitors to the £20million venue will be able to partake in one-metre and platform diving, but a date for the reinstatement of three and five-metre diving has yet to be announced.
Issues were first raised when a schoolboy had an accident during a diving class, which left him with an injured left wrist and right elbow. Soon after – during a scheduled service – a problem was also discovered with a cable that forms part of the pool’s moveable floor.
The delay in restoring the Aquatic Centre’s full services had been criticised.
Janet Thomas, 24, a regular visitor to the pool, said: “It’s absurd that this state-of-the-art pool, which we were told would be the biggest and best in the area, can’t even have a working diving board.
“There doesn’t appear to have been much effort made to fix it because it’s been like that for ages.”
Addressing the issue at a full council meeting, Coun Dave Allan, Sunderland City Council portfolio holder for health and well-being, said: “I’m very pleased to be able to advise that works to the diving pool moveable floor will be complete by the end of July, allowing for one-metre springboard and platform diving to recommence at the Aquatic Centre from August 1.
“This will enable the centre to offer an extensive range of diving coaching opportunities as well as casual diving activities.”
He added: “The council remains committed to continually providing the best sporting facilities it can to our customers and is seeking to reopen the diving pool for three-metre and five-metre diving at the earliest opportunity.
“We are, however, currently in some very sensitive negotiations over the diving pool and board at the Sunderland Aquatic Centre with a number of partners and until these are concluded we cannot give a definite date for the reinstatement of diving at three and five-metres
“Because of legal issues, it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”