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Commemorating 40 years at Wigan International Pool

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Wigan International Pool closed to the public on 21 September 2008.

Thank you to our customers...

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust would like to thank you for your custom over the years at Wigan International Pool and Profiles gym.

The Pool was opened in 1968 with residents of the borough benefiting from over 40 years use of the facility, including free swimming for children aged 16 and under since April 2005 and for the over 60s since 2006. Throughout the years, the facilities have helped to hone local talent through its various swimming clubs, notably Wigan BEST (formerly Wigan Wasps), resulting in some record breaking results and national champions.

However, the facilities are now in need of extensive upgrade in order meet your needs for the future and we are about to embark on an improvement programme to redevelop the whole complex. The scope of this project will mean that the existing pool needs to close for around 2 years to make way for the work to progress.

A new and exciting £187m ‘Joint Service Centre’ facility is on the horizon, which will revitalise the civic heart of the borough and improve access to public services. For the first time, it will bring together a broad range of public services including council, health, housing, leisure, police, fire and the voluntary service.
Benefits of the project will include brand new leisure facilities and improved access to services including:

  • A brand new swimming pool, with flexible use of water space, designed to the national standard.
  • Complementary exercise and health improvement facilities, including a Profiles gym and aerobic studios, together with services delivered by PCT Wigan Council Adult Services.
  • A new central library and information zone on the site of the Municipal Buildings.
  • A one-stop shop and contact centre for Wigan Council services providing longer opening hours with access points in each township area.

Questions & Answers

When is the centre closing?
The centre will permanently close on Sunday 21 September 2008. The building is planned to be demolished from December 2008 onwards, then work on the new facilities can begin.

Why not close the facilities in Winter when it’s less busy?
In order to get the construction work completed to deadline and budget, September is the latest date that we can keep the facility open until. Before the building can be demolished the asbestos in the structure of the building needs to be removed safely alongside other enabling works before demolition.

Why is the centre closing?
It is obvious to anyone who has used the pool in recent years that the facilities are dilapidated and that the pool is at the end of its lifecycle after 40 years of heavy use. In recent years, the operating and running costs of the pool have increased significantly, mainly due to the rising cost of utilities, resulting in significant financial losses. Additionally, the facility is not energy efficient due in part to the old plant and machinery that is operating the pool and does not have appropriate disabled access.

Why is the Pool not being refurbished instead of closed?
Refurbishments have been made throughout the years to enable the facilities to continue operating, however, it is now uneconomical to try to continue to maintain the facilities in this way. Refurbishment of the facilities on a major scale is not feasible as it would cost millions of pounds and would take months if not years to complete as much of the work involves replacing plant, machinery and pipe work. The pool would also need to be completely redesigned to meet modern day standards, especially for people with disabilities.

Where is the nearest pool?
The nearest pool to Wigan International Pool is Hindley Pool, which is approximately 3½ miles away, just 8 minutes by car. Alternatively there are also pools at nearby Ashton Leisure Centre (5 miles), Howe Bridge Leisure Centre (6 miles), Leigh Indoor Sports Centre (12½ miles) and Tyldesley Pool (11 miles). For public transport please visit www.gmpte.com or telephone 0870 200 2233.

Where is the nearest Profiles gym?
The nearest Profiles gym is Robin Park Sports & Tennis Centre, which is approximately 2 miles away from Wigan International Pool, just 5 minutes by car.

What other facilities are available nearby?
A full list of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust’s leisure centre facilities can be found on Active Life's website.

Will I have to pay more at another centre?
No, all the prices are the same across all Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust’s leisure centres.

Is there going to be a new leisure centre?
There will be a new Profiles gym as part of the Joint Service Centre project. This will include around 60 state-of-the art workstations, a free weights area and two aerobics studios offering a full programme of exercise classes.

Image: Library Street view of new Joint Service Centre Image: Millgate view of new Joint Service Centre

What facilities will be at the new pool?
The new pool will be 25 metres in length, however it will be 21 metres wide instead of the more usual 13 metre width, offering additional capacity to a standard 25 metre pool. It will have a moveable floor across the width of the pool to enable different activities to take place in the pool, such as ‘fun’ and ‘serious’ swimming taking place at the same time. The site will also contain a small pool for learners sized 13 metres by 7.5 metres.

Image: Artistic Impression of Internal View of new pool
Artistic Impression of internal view of new pool

Why will there not be a 50 metre pool?
We recognise that a small proportion of our customers would prefer that a 50 metre pool was retained, however, funding for the Joint Service Centre would not allow either a refurbishment of the existing facilities or the building of a 50 metre pool.

Additionally Sport England, the national body for sport, has confirmed that it could not support the rebuilding of a 50 metre pool in Wigan as three Olympic size pools are sufficient for the North West region (these are located in Manchester, Stockport and Liverpool).

What about training facilities for Wigan Borough’s young competitive swimmers?
Consultation with coaches of the swimming clubs has taken place and has found that they will be able to train team members in the new 25 metre short course pool, providing them with modern facilities that meet ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) standards.

Will there be Russian Baths or Steam Rooms?
A steam and sauna facility will be provided to compliment the Health and Fitness facilities.

When will the new pool and gym be open?
The new facility is planned to open in 2010.

Will it be at the same address?
The new facilities will be on the site of the existing facilities but the name and address of the complex will change.

If I already have a Lifestyle card do I need to join again at another leisure centre?
No, your Lifestyle Card gives you unlimited access to any of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust’s leisure centres (including benefits and discounts such as free swimming for over 60s and age 16 and under). However you may have to undertake a transfer induction if you will be using another Profiles gym, this is free of charge.

Is free swimming available at the other leisure centres?
Yes, free swimming is available at all Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust’s leisure centres. Please check with reception at individual centres for their times or check Active Life's web pages.

Where can I find out more?
You can keep up to date by reviewing information on this web page.

Please contact 01942 828508 or email LeisureEnquiries@wlct.org with any feedback or comments.


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