Frequently asked questions

What will the new leisure centres pools complex consist of?

  • City Centre, 25m 8 lane competition standard swimming pool 
  • Sedbergh 25m 6 lane community pool 
  • learner pool 
  • diving pool (City Centre only) 
  • gym 
  • eight court sports hall (Sedbergh only) 
  • two exercise studios and indoor cycle studio 
  • changing Village 
  • café 
  • car parking

The Main Pool will be 25 metres in length with 8 lanes and to a depth of 2 metres. The current pools at Bowling and Richard Dunn Sports Centre are not suitable for use for most competitions. The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) recommends that competition pools are either 25 metres or 50 metres.

The new pool will also include flexible depth control – much like the system in operation at the Sir John Charles Leisure Centre. This will enable greater flexibility in our programming and swimming lesson provision allowing more people to use facility.

There will be a Learner Pool located in a studio setting that will be 17 metres in length by 8 metres wide and will allow for a greater range of teaching and exercise based activities to take place.

There will also be 250 spectator seats and larger, more accessible changing facilities.

We will be working with local children, physical and sensory disability groups, schools and organisations over the next year as part of the design process, to help shape the look and feel of the new water space for the Studio Pool and changing facilities.

When will the new swimming pool and leisure centre open?

The design work will take until Autumn 2016, with building work starting shortly after that.

It is anticipated that the City Centre swimming pool and leisure centre should open in summer 2018.

Will the new pool have a flume?

No, there will not be a flume.

We have been exploring various options for the provision of a flume within the new Pools Complex. This was included within the consultation process to give our users the opportunity to come up with operationally viable options.

The most popular feature for children in recent years has been the addition of large inflatables. With a larger pool these can be bigger, better and more flexible than a flume ride and proved popular for hire by groups, birthday parties etc.

Why aren’t we having a 50 metre pool?

50 metre pools are typically 8 to 10 lanes wide (25 metres) and at a depth of at least 2 metres. These are very expensive to build, cost a lot more to operate on an on-going basis (it would be up to double the volume of the new proposed pool), and they also take up a huge amount of space.

Most recreational swimmers do not require the 50 metre length - competitive swimmers would benefit most from a 50 meter pool. To justify a 50 metre pool you also need to look at the population in the catchment area and what other pool facilities are nearby. There is already a 50 metre pool as part of the South Leeds Stadium complex and in Ponds Forge Sheffield about 30 miles away from the Bradford site and the Manchester Aquatics Centre is a 45 minute car journey away.

The new 25 metre pool will be the only pool of this type in the region making it particularly welcome for competitive swimming as well as a wide range of community swimming opportunities.

Will the pools have moveable floors and booms?

Yes, the new Main Pool will include flexible depth control.

Including a moveable floor in the pool design will increase pool usage and programming flexibility and allow a wide variety of sessions/club activities to take place simultaneously in the main pool.

The moveable floor in the new main pool will mean that it can be moved up from the maximum depth of 1.8 metres to accommodate a wide variety of activities. The moveable floor will enable many more people to use the pool.

We currently cannot satisfy the demand for many user groups, including school use, swimming lessons, club use, fitness swimming and aqua aerobics. With a wider pool and moveable floor there will be the opportunity for two or more activities to happen in the main pool at the same time, for example, schools could be accommodated without impacting on lane swimmers. The wider pool will also provide an excellent venue for galas but this is not the main purpose for proposing the new pool layout – it is the versatility and flexibility of this size that will assist in the development of an enhanced programme for the use of the swimming community.

When will the public be consulted on this leisure centre programme?

The initial consultation took place in September 2014 which included public consultations and exhibitions at various pools and leisure centres in September and October 2014.

Further consultation will take place as the development programme progresses.

Wouldn’t it be cheaper to refurbish the existing leisure centre?

Richard Dunn Sports Centre and Bowling Pool were both built around 40 years ago. These facilities are now out of date and expensive to run in terms of energy efficiency and staffing. The likely cost of refurbishing the Richard Dunn centre could be up to £6 million and that would only guarantee its life for five years before further investment would be required. We have spent many thousands of pounds keeping the facilities up to date, but the building is reaching the end of its useful life. The new swimming pool and leisure centre will be far cheaper to run and built to very high environmental and construction standards.

Will local companies be able to get involved in the building work?

Local companies will have the opportunity to attend meet-the-buyer events, speak to the contractor directly and tender for parts of the work.

What will happen to the existing sites?

We have made a commitment that new facilities will open before any of the older facilities close.

After the new facilities open the outdated and inefficient centres at Bowling Pool and Richard Dunn Sports Centre will close.

The sales of these sites will help to pay for the new facilities.

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