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20/11/2020

Work Continues At Plymouth Life Centre

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Balfour Beatty is continuing esssential work at Plymouth Life Centre.

The facility provides a wide range of sports and leisure activities, from elite diving and swimming to a splash pool for children, as well as a bowls rink, climbing wall, sports hall and fitness suite.

However, been a number of issues requiring works over the last eight years, including ongoing water leaks in certain parts of the building. During the last few months further surveys and investigations by the Council and Balfour Beatty, who constructed the facility, have confirmed that major works are needed to rectify the issues.

The works will involve stripping the pool surround and changing areas back to the base concrete before relaying them with new waterproof layers. Consequential damage to walls, ceilings, fixtures and fittings, metalwork, plant and electrics will also need to be repaired.

The scale of the works means the centre will need to be temporarily closed until April 2021. Balfour Beatty agreed to carry out the essential works at its own cost.

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Deputy Council Leader, Peter Smith, said: "We're obviously very disappointed not to be able to reopen the Life Centre later this month. We know many people will have been looking forward to using the facilities again following lockdown restrictions.

"While the centre has been closed we've been able to do some more detailed investigation and survey work and the fact is we are looking at some issues that need to be sorted out as soon as possible.

"If we don't carry out these essential repairs the issues will just get worse and ultimately put the long-term future of the building at risk. We have a duty to the people of Plymouth to give them the first-class facility they deserve and one they can continue to enjoy for many years to come.

"We know the huge inconvenience this will cause, which is why we have explored all options to get the work done in the shortest possible timeframe. A partial closure – trying to keep restricted areas open around the works – would add significant time and cost to the programme and be an unpleasant, disruptive and noisy experience for centre users.

"We want to get in, get the work done and get the centre open again so that people can get back to the sports and activities they enjoy. While the building is closed we will be taking the opportunity to make some additional improvements and enhancements to make sure this eight-year-old building meets the needs of today’s customers – including measures to make it fully COVID-19 compliant. We hope that customers will see some really positive changes when the centre reopens."

Matthew Ashwell, Commercial Director for Balfour Beatty's UK Construction Services business, said: "We are working hard to plan and manage these works as efficiently and effectively as possible.

"We appreciate the patience of the public and the local community at this time and will continue to work in close collaboration with Plymouth City Council to ensure these works cause as little disruption as possible."

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