Leisure bosses have taken flak over their handling of the situation after a burst pipe shut down South Shields’ swimming and fitness centre.
Families and other swimmers were left disappointed when Haven Point in Pier Parade closed its doors yesterday “until further notice” – and initially gave no reason for the closure.
South Tyneside Council officers later announced the closure was due to a burst water pipe. It is not yet known if the centre will reopen today.
Independent Putting People First councillor, Lee Hughes, isn’t happy with the way the council managed the situation.
He said: “It’s the last week of the school holidays and we have a multi-million pound leisure centre closed to the public.
“It has to be disappointing to all those who had plans to use it, but what is just as disappointing was the length of time it took the council to say why the centre was closed.
“I don’t know why they left people to speculate on whether the closure would last a few hours, the full day or even longer so they could make alternative plans.
He added: “I’ve never been fan of the building. This is just one more thing to add to the list of problems the centre has encountered since it opened.”
Haven Point was officially opened by Prince William in November 2013.
The opening of the £16million leisure complex had already been set back and – when it finally did open its doors – it was hit by critisim over its glass-frontage design.
The design left swimmers exposed to passing public glare.
In its first year the centre clocked up 400,000 admissions. That didn’t stop more criticism when three of its pools were closed for three weeks for improvement work – including the replacement of tiles – a year after it opened.
The centre boasts a 25-metre, eight-lane competition pool, and features the latest hi-tech electronic scoreboard with specially designed Omega Timing.
Another feature is a moveable hydraulic floor, meaning the pool’s depth can be varied.
There is also a teaching pool, which –at 18 metres by 10 metres – is larger than the standard.
That pool also boasts a moveable floor.
The leisure facility also includes dance studios with sprung floors, and a gym with more than 80 machines which each have their own TVs, powered by the person exercising.