PLYMOUTH’S divers will have to wait until June to return to training at the Life Centre.
The multi-million pound sports facility has been closed since last March – initially, due to the first national lockdown and then because urgent work needed to be done to the building that had only opened in 2012.
Parts of the complex will reopen next month when the current coronavirus restrictions are eased. The gym and new changing rooms will be available from April 12 and the swimming pools from the end of April. But work on the diving facility will take much longer and is not expect to be complete until June.
“I know the delay to diving will be a disappointment for some visitors and sports groups, but we are totally committed to getting the necessary works completed and getting these facilities back safely a few weeks after the initial reopening of the centre,” said Plymouth City Council’s deputy leader Peter Smith.
In a statement, the council added: “Work on the diving pool is expected to be complete by early June.
“The work follows more investigations and a complete re-render and re-tile of the pool walls was instigated to prevent further works being required further down the line.
“These additional works have affected the timescales for the dive pool reopening but significantly, swimming and other aquatic activities will available from end of April.”
Jack Buckner and Jane Nickerson, CEOs of British Swimming and Swim England, said in a joint statement: “As a regular host of British Swimming and Swim England events, the Plymouth Life Centre provides the stage for memorable moments for our athletes, coaches, support staff, supporters and all involved in aquatics sports. It is also the home of great swimming and diving clubs.
“We appreciate the scale of these works and the necessary measures being undertaken at the diving pool to deliver upgraded facilities, which will benefit divers of all levels for years to come.
“All at British Swimming and Swim England look forward to supporting the reopened Plymouth Life Centre and being involved in future exciting events taking place there.”
The council have confirmed that Brickfields Athletics Track will re-open on March 29 and that they will open the outdoor pools at Tinside and Mount Wise will open nearly a month earlier than normal on May 1 rather than at the end of May.