Severe structural deterioration at Halifax Pool unfortunately means that for the safety of its staff and users, it won’t be possible for the facility to reopen.
Along with other leisure facilities in the borough, Halifax Pool is currently closed due to COVID restrictions. The site is over 50 years old and before this enforced closure, it had been subject to numerous maintenance problems and system failures. It has required continued repairs for many years to allow its continued operation. Some of its systems are now obsolete and have become increasingly difficult to repair as parts are no longer available.
These ongoing issues have worsened due to the closure period and significant, costly, further work would have been required to make the site safe and useable. Various options for a full or part reopening were being considered.
Unfortunately, the pool site suffered further significant damage over the Christmas and New Year period when the 50-year-old heating system at the premises failed. The extreme temperature change caused extensive damage to the pool tank and surround, pool hall walls, interior tiles, the squash court floor and ceiling of the dance studio. Further, less visible damage may also have been caused, and the structure continues to deteriorate meaning there are potential major safety hazards at the site.
The extent of this damage alongside existing issues means that unfortunately the facility is not safe to open and cannot continue to meet customers’ needs. It is therefore no longer a viable option to reopen the pool. Immediate safety measures have been put in place on the site to manage some of the significant risks that exist.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Jenny Lynn, said:
“We know this will be really upsetting news for the individuals and clubs that regularly used Halifax Pool. Although the facility has suffered from maintenance issues for some time, we know how well-loved the pool has been throughout its history.
“Unfortunately, further recent serious damage, in addition to existing problems worsened by its long, enforced closure, mean that the site is no longer safe for staff or users and we have no option but to permanently close it. Although it’s with a heavy heart that we do this, our first priority must be safety. The high cost of what would still be temporary repairs is also unviable, especially in the current climate.
“However, we are still committed to the future of swimming in the town and plans for the new , modern swimming and leisure facility at the site of the current North Bridge Leisure Centre are progressing. We also look forward to reopening our existing pool sites at Todmorden, Brighouse and Sowerby Bridge as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Plans for a brand-new complex on the site of the existing North Bridge Leisure Centre, have been developed and are progressing as part of the Calderdale Next Chapter transformation programme.
Although the COVID pandemic has caused some disruption to the project, plans have progressed and surveys and ground investigation work have continued on site.