The £2million revamp of Malvern Splash is still on track and will now happen sooner than expected, Malvern Hill District Council has confirmed.
The centre has been closed since 20 March when lockdown was introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. With the Prime Minster announcing indoor gyms and swimming pools must remain closed until further notice, the council has taken advantage of the delay to alter the project timetable.
Work is now expected to start at the end of August, once a contractor has been appointed at the end of July, instead of in October as originally planned.
The project should be completed in December, two months earlier than scheduled, and will involve full refurbishment of the swimming pool changing rooms including dedicated changing facilities for people with disabilities and additional family changing areas.
There will also be a new interactive water play feature for younger swimmers, underwater lighting and PA system, a new flume and a new wave machine to enhance the experience for swimmers.
The pool side area itself will also be revamped. A new UV filtration system has already been installed that will improve water quality and lower levels of chlorine.
A range of environmental measures including more energy efficient pumps, boilers and LED lighting have been installed while the centre has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The main project also includes the installation of energy efficient glazing and solar panels.
We are delighted that the investment into improving the swimming pool is happening now and we look forward to providing what will be a greatly enhanced swimming experience for all the residents of Malvern.Ivan Horsfall-Turner | Managing Director - Freedom Leisure
The timetable change means when the centre is eventually allowed to reopen, the swimming pool will be unavailable. This will avoid the potential disruption caused by having to reopen and then close again shortly after.
The sauna/steam rooms are also being permanently removed as usage was low and social distancing rules, which are likely to be around for some time, will make them difficult to operate. They were also expensive to maintain and removing them will free up money to be reinvested into the centre.
Freedom Leisure, which runs the district’s leisure centres on behalf of the council, continue to work hard to get Malvern Splash, Sport Dyson Perrins and Sport Martley ready for when they are allowed to reopen.
The team have put a range of measures in place so customers can enjoy the benefits of exercise, while still observing social distancing rules. These include spacing out of gym equipment and reduced capacity within exercise classes to give everyone more room. An enhanced cleaning regime will be in place, hand sanitiser will be available throughout the centres and drinking fountains will be unavailable.
I’m delighted to confirm our commitment to delivering this £2million scheme which will deliver first class facilities for residents. We know some people may be disappointed they have to wait a while longer to enjoy a swim but the revised timetable will minimise disruption meaning people will be able to enjoy the benefits of this significant investment much earlier than planned.Cllr Sarah Rouse | Leader of Malvern Hills District Council
Residents can stay up to date with the latest news on the project by signing up for email alerts at www.malvernhills.gov.uk/emailalerts and by checking back to our website www.freedom-leisure.co.uk/malvernsplash.
The FAQs below cover some of the most common questions you may be wanting to ask:
What is the scale of the works and does it include any improvements to the fitness facilities?
The works will focus on the wet facilities including the swimming pool, pool surrounds and changing village. There will be a number of improvements to the pool plant room which will improve bather experience while swimming.
A new UV filtration system will be installed that will improve water quality and lower levels of chlorine. This means the pool is less reliant on added chemical. New boilers are being installed along with improve heating system to the pool meaning a more constant temperature for bathers.
The redevelopment does not cover the fitness facilities or fitness changing rooms.
What facilities will be closed/remain open?
The Gym and Group Exercise Classes are the only facilities that will remain open during the works. The Swimming Pool and Changing Village will remain closed until we open after completion of the project
It may be that we will need to change the reception entrance at some point during the works but this will be communicated in advance via customer emails.
Please note that once we re-open the Centre after the closure due to Covid 19 there will be revised opening times and timetables. These will be updated on the website once we are open.
Will the Sauna & Steam Room be retained?
While the removal of these facilities was not considered during the initial phase of consultation, we have now taken the decision to close the Sauna & Steam Rooms.Usage of these facilities is low but the costs to run them are high – which makes it unviable to keep them open.
Any savings achieved through this measure we hope to see reinvested into the Centre in the future. We also hope that this can also help us work towards MHDCs goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.
What will happen with memberships during this time?
Fitness Memberships will run as usual with the Gym and Group Exercise Classes still scheduled to operate, but at a reduced level as mentioned above. Swim Memberships will be frozen during the extent of the works. Direct Debits will not be collected and Annual Swim Members will have the time added to their membership.
If you have any further questions you can speak to the membership team at the centre when we are open.
What will happen with Swimming Lessons?
Swimming Lessons will remain suspended for the extent of the works and direct debit payments will not be taken. Customers should not cancel their direct debit as we will be able to reactivate payments as soon as we open, and will ensure that places are not lost.
We will be reviewing the swimming lesson programme during closure to ensure we have the right sessions in place to meet demand.
Will the water slide be staying?
We will be having a new slide installed as part of the redevelopment as this is a key part of our family friendly pool.
Prior to closure in March we had a new wave machine installed. We have published some pictures, as seen on the website that show you the improvements to the teaching pool and beach area. More features will be added to these areas to make them more fun and interactive for smaller children.
Will the temperature in the pool be addressed?
Historically there are times where it feels quite cold. Work started week commencing 15th June to install new boilers which will help us maintain a more constant temperature. We are also having works completed in the pool plant room that will help here.
Being a leisure pool we do keep the pool warmer than most swimming pools at 29/30 degrees.
What will you be doing to improve cleanliness?
There is a feeling that not all customers follow the ‘no shoes’ policy in the changing areas. The project itself will be focused on a design to make the area easier to clean and maintain making the cleaning regime much more effective.
The swimming pool redevelopment is a project based on customer feedback and comments received over the last few years. Our hope is that all our customers will help us maintain the standards after we open to ensure a quality experience for everyone.
What is the timeline for works?
Given the move to bring the redevelopment forward we do have a revised schedule. We have had contractors on site for much of June for the tender. This process will finish at the end of June and contractors will be appointed in July with works commencing end of August. The aim is to have the swimming pool open again in January 2021.
To keep up to date with all the latest developments please ensure that you have registered with us at Malvern Splash, provided an email and opted in to receive our communications. You can do this at reception. We will be sending out regular emails to all customers to ensure they have all the relevant information.