Cirencester’s Cotswold Leisure Centre is due to re-open its doors to the public on March 1st following complex repairs to extensive flood damage, Cotswold District Council announced today.
The Centre’s plant room was damaged by 70,000 gallons of flood water after the unprecedented rainfall which hit Gloucestershire on July 20th. The building and its contents are fully insured and the Council is also insured for loss of revenue at the Centre.
A complex schedule of work and repairs, costing approximately £800,000, has followed a major clean-up operation and the Council and its insurers Royal and Sun Alliance have now named the date for re-opening, bar any unforeseen difficulties.
The Council’s Portfolio holder for Property & Benefits, Cllr Nick Parsons, said: “We fully appreciate that our members have now been without their leisure facilities in Cirencester for more than four months.
“We must not forget that this is a massive undertaking to rebuild the very heart of the centre requiring a great deal of complex work in a confined space.
“Our contractors EIC Ltd are working exceptionally hard to get the building open again and we are looking forward to welcoming members old and new on March 1st.”
Much of the plant room equipment that was ruined, including boilers, electrical systems, control panels and water filtration plant, is taking several months to replace and re-install due to the high-tech components required.
While the Centre has been closed, the Council has provided classes at local schools and offered members the use of its facilities at Tetbury, Fairford, Bourton and Chipping Campden at no charge.
The July flood was caused when road drainage was unable to cope with the rainfall and the subsequent overflow of a nearby lake.
Cllr Parsons added: “Thousands of buildings were affected by the floods and the Cotswold Leisure Centre was just one of them. The Council is satisfied that the building and its drainage meet the required standards for all but the most exceptional cases.
“However, we cannot be sure that there will not be a repeat of the unprecedented circumstances of July. As such, the Council has agreed to spend £100,000 on further flood prevention measures to further protect the Centre as best it can.”
In addition, Royal and Sun Alliance have engaged an expert hydrologist to report on water run-off and drainage outside the boundaries of the leisure centre.
The vast majority of Cotswold Leisure Centre’s staff have been re-deployed by the Council during the closure. Their new roles have included life guarding at the town’s open air pool, helping to collect flood-damaged furniture and providing extra help to cover holidays across Council teams, such as planning, printing, licensing, visitor information centres, housing and museums. Staff have also hosted roadshows around the District highlighting changes to the Council’s waste services.