Talks under way over Sunderland Aquatic Centre roof repairs after out of court deal

Sections of Sunderland Aquatic Centre will close while the roof is repaired.
Sections of Sunderland Aquatic Centre will close while the roof is repaired.

An out of court settlement has been reached between council chiefs and the builder of Sunderland Aquatic Centre over its leaking roof.

The agreement could see sections of the centre close for up to nine months while repair work takes place but the team charged with running the Stadium Park venue say customers will be given three months notice before a pool will close so its roof can be fixed.

Sunderland Aquatic Centre was built at a cost of �20 million.

Sunderland Aquatic Centre was built at a cost of �20 million.

The date for the work is still to be confirmed.

The centre opened a decade ago at a cost of £20 million, but began to leak last year - with buckets being used to catch the drips.

The Echo understands Sunderland City Council, which owns the facility, and Balfour Beatty, which built it, have come to an out of court settlement following months of legal discussions.

No details about the agreement have been made public.

We have begun to communicate with clubs and colleagues about the roof works in order to give them sufficient time to prepare for any changes.

Ian Bradgate

The council has previously said the work will take between six and nine months to complete, with the pool to be closed off while the roof over that area is repaired,

Areas covering the gym, exercise studios which overlook the pool and plant room are also in need of work.

Ian Bradgate is area contract manager for Everyone Active, which runs the council’s leisure centres on its behalf.

He said: “Discussions have started between Sunderland City Council and Everyone Active regarding the roof repair works at the Sunderland Aquatic Centre.

The pool and spectator area pictured while it was being built.

The pool and spectator area pictured while it was being built.

“However, as of yet no official start date has been agreed for the project.

“We have begun to communicate with clubs and colleagues about the roof works in order to give them sufficient time to prepare for any changes.

“We have informed them that Everyone Active has been served a minimum notice period of 12 weeks prior to any of the works commencing.

“There are still details that are being outlined before a definitive start date is agreed.

The interior of Sunderland Aquatic Centre as it was being built.

The interior of Sunderland Aquatic Centre as it was being built.

“We hope to be given more details about the works and their impact on our services very shortly.

“Our colleagues, clubs and customers will be updated with further details as soon as these are confirmed.”

A council spokesman said: “Balfour Beatty will be carrying out a programme of works on the roof at Sunderland Aquatic Centre on behalf of Sunderland City Council.

“Further details and dates will follow in due course.”

Balfour Beatty said it was “unable to provide further details at this stage” when contacted by the Echo.