Plans have been set out to invest and improve Manchester’s historic Aquatics Centre.
The Aquatics Centre was built in 1999 and opened in 2000, playing a key role in the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
The centre runs at a profit, generating revenue which has been reinvested in supporting leisure facilities for residents. But after two decades of intensive use, a number of mechanical and electrical failures are starting to occur which could lead to unplanned closures.
A detailed survey has established that it will cost almost £31m to address these issues, Cllrs are being asked to back a plan to invest in these improvements.
It is also envisaged that underused parts of the building will be repurposed to improve health and fitness facilities and further increase opportunities to generate income.
Cllr Luthfur Rahman, the executive member for culture and leisure, said: ‘This one-off investment will ensure that Manchester Aquatics Centre maintains its place as one of the leading aquatics venues in the UK for the next 20 years and more.
‘This flagship facility is somewhere that everyone from beginners and school classes to Olympians and Paralympians can benefit from.
‘Leisure has a crucial role to play in Manchester’s recovery from the social, health and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘It would be unthinkable to allow this key element of the city’s overall swimming provision, which also contributes to our global sporting reputation, to wither and die. But that is what would be likely to happen without serious investment.
‘Delaying a decision to invest would only cost the city more in the coming years. Ongoing maintenance costs would rocket. Vital facilities for Manchester people and revenue for the city would be lost as building, mechanical and electrical failures caused more and more unscheduled closures.’
‘Instead we can grasp the opportunity to protect and improve the Aquatics Centre, bringing it up to the very latest standards and using green technologies to reduce its carbon footprint by 40 per cent, contributing towards the city’s drive to cut carbon emissions and saving on energy costs.’
Photo Credit – Manchester City Council